Klopp Vs Guardiola

Liverpool have been a force to be reckoned with since Jurgen Klopp arrived in 2015. And the exact same can be said about Manchester City after the arrival of the Spaniard – Pep Guardiola in 2016. There is very little to choose between the two sides (and managers). Both are capable of beating any given side on any given day. No other manager has defeated Klopp more than Guardiola and no other manager has defeated Guardiola than Klopp. This speaks volumes about the quality of the two managers and their respective sides at the moment. Although Liverpool v City took their rivalry to a next level, their tussle goes beyond Liverpool and City. When Klopp led Dortmund and Pep led Bayern, it was 4 apiece for the managers. Today, after 23 encounters, it is still hanging in balance with 9 wins apiece and 5 draws.

How good both have been was typified by yesterday’s match between Liverpool and Manchester City. Last night’s contest had the potential of deciding the title race. So both the sides had to come with their A-game with the usual suspects in both the teams making their mark. The game beautifully epitomized the level both the teams are at the moment. It was a high-octane match, end-to-end football. Both teams were ready to lose in pursuit of 3 very crucial points. But it was only fair that they shared the points as the match ended 2-2.

Image source: Getty Images/The Sporting News

Not just the scoreline but how the game panned out was analogous to the cut-throat competition between the sides. Manchester City were probably the better side yesterday by the slightest of margins taking lead two times. But Liverpool were up to the task, leveling the game both times and that is the margin we are talking about. Yesterday’s match was a reflection of the modern-day rivalry between Liverpool and Man City. Liverpool have had to come from behind to match City’s pedigree and class. One would say that they have done reasonably well, aye? The difference of a single point between the sides in the Premier League at the moment (74-73) and across the last 4 seasons’ aggregate (339-338) is poetic yet ridiculous at the same time because that is how consistent they both have been.

City fans would argue that the Premier League titles they have won put Guardiola ahead of Klopp. Meanwhile, Liverpool Faithfuls make a good case for their boss citing the European success their boss has led them to. Who is better among the two is entirely subjective, but the fact that they make a very good tug-of-war isn’t. However, what remains objective is their class and greatness as managers. They bring the best out of each other and create a spectacle to savor for football lovers every time they face each other. They meet soon on Friday in a FA Cup Semi-final clash meaning that one of them will take a lead in their overall meetings. But how long before the vanquished becomes the victor to set the record straight is what is interesting. Or not.