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Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other ‘can’t be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal’, while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends


No matter which team you support, all football fans benefit from the ongoing rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City.

Both teams are undoubtedly among the best teams in world football having dominated the sport for several years with Premier League titles, Champions Leagues, FA Cups, Club World Cups, League Cups and many more that have made their way northwest in recent seasons.

Liverpool and Manchester City are rivals at the top of the game
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Already in April, the two teams were still battling for three trophies with no sign of letting up, and that’s why we are truly witnessing the pinnacle of sporting greatness – but for some that’s not enough.

And then they will battle in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday – live on talkSPORT.

Despite the entertaining and attacking contests we’ve come to appreciate as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola go head-to-head, some have criticized the rivalry for its apparent lack of advantage.

Historically, rivalries have been solid affairs with tough tackles, hard-hitting post-match commentary and even the occasional tunnel brawl.

Homegrown rivalries such as Tottenham v Arsenal, Liverpool v Everton, Manchester United v Liverpool and Newcastle v Sunderland often possess underlying resentment, while historic battles at the top of the Premier League have also sparked similar sentiment.

Man United’s battle with Arsenal in the late 1990s and early 2000s was particularly difficult.

When Arsene Wenger took charge of the Gunners, he quickly closed the gap to Fergie’s Red Devils and ruffled some feathers in the process.


Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Ferguson and Wenger led a truly fierce rivalry between Man United and Arsenal
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Wenger and Ferguson argued regularly in the press, while club captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane physically and verbally showed their hatred for each other on more than one occasion.

Discussing the difference between this rivalry and Liverpool v Man City, Simon Jordan said: “The real rivalry was Arsenal v Manchester United. It was a real rivalry.

“This [Liverpool vs Man City] is a homogenized and sanitized love-in.

“Fans don’t seem to have that much engagement, especially City fans, as far as I know. Liverpool fans are built from a certain type of thing and the managers are sitting there admiring each other. from afar.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Keown watches Van Nistelrooy hit a shot from the bar
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Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Things were a little different during Martin Keown’s playing days

“The other one, which was Wenger versus Ferguson, there was no love, there was no similarity between the players and they basically didn’t like each other.

“Keown says there was disgust and aversion between the players, there was also disdain and disgust between the managers and then there was the feeling between the fans.”

As Jordan mentioned, Gunners legend Martin Keown is a man who knows exactly what it takes to be part of a fiercely contested rivalry.

The former Arsenal defender was at the heart of drama in the famous clash with United at Old Trafford when Ruud van Nistelrooy missed his penalty only to be greeted by a backlash from the north London side, who were relishing in seeing their rival gulp down such a big opportunity. in a big game.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
The rivalry between Liverpool and Man City is much healthier
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But while Keown appreciates what Liverpool v Man City have to offer, he insists it’s not the same as in his playing days, saying: “At that time we didn’t really like Manchester United players and they didn’t really like us.

“I think in this situation there is a nice and healthy respect and I think it comes from the managers. I know Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson eventually found that respect.

“It seems to be there now with these two great managers.

“You want this challenge, you need this rivalry to be confirmed as excellent. You need someone else who is great on your side, fighting against you, and both of those teams are exceptional.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
There is genuine respect and friendship between many Liverpool and City stars
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He added: “I don’t think there is the edge.

“We haven’t seen the disappointments. We have an FA Cup semi-final coming up, we have a Champions League final potentially, that’s how good they are and they’re going to another level.

“We matched Manchester United’s success in the Champions League, but we were in our early days and too young as a team to really matter, but domestically we could run with Manchester United and sometimes beat them.

“It’s an incredible rivalry that we’re starting to see now, but I don’t see the harm in it yet.”

Despite what Jordan and Keown say, football is completely different these days.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Players from top teams are used to playing side by side at international level
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In decades past, international teams were filled with players who stayed with their club mates and refused to mingle with those who represented their rivals, but nowadays things are different.

The players have grown together through the youth ranks of their national teams, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold, Phil Foden, Jordan Henderson, Kyle Walker, John Stones and James Milner [a former City player, of course] have spent a lot of time playing side by side in the English fold.

Footballers also live a truly isolated existence due to the scrutiny that comes with playing at an elite level.

As a result, players often live in similar neighborhoods and actually have more in common with rival players from other clubs than they would with 99% of the population.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Van Dijk and de Bruyne are close friends off the pitch as their children attend the same school
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Kevin De Bruyne and Virgil van Dijk are an example of this, with the Belgian midfielder revealing the reason for his post-match chat with the Liverpool star last week, saying: “I know Virgil, me and Virgil we see a lot.

“Our kids go to the same school and they like to play together, so it was just a friendly chat.”

This friendly relationship between the players was summed up by Times football editor Henry Winter, who believes that today’s rivalry is no longer based on genuine dislike.

He said: “It’s a rivalry of respect.

“It’s a very pure rivalry. It’s a fantastic technical and tactical battle, one of the best rivalries I’ve seen, but it lacks the drama and the edge of when Ray [Parlour – Arsenal legend] cheek.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Klopp and Guardiola sincerely respect each other

“The Arsenal against Manchester United, the flying challenges, the Keane against Vieira in the tunnel.

“It’s a purer, more respectful rivalry. You can compare generations, but in terms of advantage, I think Ray’s era had more advantage in terms of rivalry.

Of course, the respect between the two clubs comes from the top, with Guardiola and Klopp being big admirers of each other’s work.

It takes courage and incredible dedication to play with the kind of bold, aggressive and ultra-attacking approach that Manchester City and Liverpool do, which both managers appreciate.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Guardiola rewrote the rulebook on how to innovate as a manager these days
AFP

For every team operating with a low block to try and thwart their attacking efforts, it’s clear that both managers enjoy the game of tactical chess that comes when two teams enter a game with similar approaches.

Speaking after last week’s 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola said: “I don’t know if Jurgen respects me but I respect him a lot.

“He makes me a better manager… his teams are positive, aggressive and they want to attack. I try to imitate him.

“We’re not friends, we’re not having dinner together, we’ll have dinner at the Hall of Fame one day, I have his phone number but I’m not calling him.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Guardiola and Klopp have immense respect for each other despite their clubs’ fierce title rivalry
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“I have a lot of respect for him and he knows that next Saturday we will try to beat him.”

While Klopp and Guardiola have different approaches when looking at the technical realm, Keown believes fans should cherish the battle between two great footballers as it won’t last forever.

He explained: “I think what he [Klopp] fact, he tries to own the sideline and I respect that.

“If you see someone like Pep, he’s seen it all. He doesn’t commit, he puts his energy into his team and wins the match.

Is the rivalry between Man City and Liverpool too good? Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love each other 'can't be compared to Manchester United v Arsenal', while Virgil van Dijk and Kevin De Bruyne are friends
Alexander-Arnold will be part of the Liverpool squad that take on Man City at Wembley this weekend
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“What you can tell is that they prepare the teams, both physically and mentally, it’s really first class.

“They won’t stay here forever. We know Pep may still have a year left on his contract, so enjoy it while it lasts. These are fascinating shows and may the best team win.

But even if the rivalry isn’t intense, there will be a winner and a loser on Saturday afternoon – and the losing team won’t be happy at all.

You can hear live commentary from Man City v Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final at 3.30pm on talkSPORT

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