Guardiola claims ‘everyone supports Liverpool’ in title race as Man City opens three-point gap

Pep Guardiola has become irritated over Liverpool’s stature and he wants everyone to know it.

After seeing his Manchester City side go three points clear of Liverpool, Guardiola launched an outburst that gives this title rivalry a more spiky edge with three games remaining. “Everyone in this country supports Liverpool,” Guardiola said after City routed Newcastle 5-0 on Sunday. “The media and everyone.”

It had been a routine opening question that Guardiola faced about whether he was “ecstatic” with the performance after City’s collapse at Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals. “Did you have any doubts?” Guardiola asked the reporter from a British newspaper. “You’re a Liverpool fan. Come on.”

That claim was refuted as another reporter exposed his actual apparent allegiances.

Maybe it was just a motivational mechanism to spur his players or just his own insecurities. But it was clear on Sunday that Guardiola was trying to cast his team — one of the richest in the world — as the underdog compared to Liverpool.

This is a City side that has won five

League titles since ending a 44-year title drought in 2012. Liverpool only ended a 30-year drought in 2020 but they are the 19-time champion of England, only one behind Manchester United’s record.

City are on 7 English titles and are yet to be crowned champions of Europe which Liverpool can be for a seventh time by beating Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28.

This maybe helps to show why Guardiola is so vexed by Liverpool’s perceived greater standing in the game. “Liverpool has an incredible history behind (it) in European competition — not in Premier Leagues, because they’ve won one in 30 years — but it’s not a problem at all,” Guardiola said, explaining why he believed the media was on the side of City’s rival. “The situation is what it is.”

Klopp laughs off the barbs

Klopp, however, didn’t appear in a mood to fight back, laughing as Guardiola’s words were read to him.

The German coach said he understood why Guardiola had made the remarks, given the manner City exited the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid on Wednesday — a day after Liverpool advanced to the final by beating Villarreal.

“I don’t know exactly what situation Pep was in after getting knocked out of the Champion League — that’s already difficult enough to

, but then of course Liverpool made it to the final, eh?” Klopp said. “Then you have (people saying) these kinds of things, ‘But they played Villarreal and we played Real.’ These kinds of things.

“And he’s right, on top of it … we’ve won the Premier League only once. I have no

if the whole country is supporting us. I don’t know that. It’s not a feeling I get when we got to other places and play there. It’s actually the opposite, but maybe he knows that more than me.”

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