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Guardiola hits back at Klopp ahead of Anfield trip

Liverpool vs Man City: Guardiola hits back at Klopp, accuses German of playing mind games

February 6, 2021 By Ali M.
The Reds boss claimed the Citizens enjoyed a two-week break, sparking a response from the Spanish tactician.

Pep Guardiola has hit back at Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp over recent comments the German boss made about the Citizens' one-week layoff due to COVID-19. This comes on the eve of their Anfield showdown, with the Spanish tactician preparing to do battle with his rival in Sunday's highly-anticipated Premier League clash.

The Reds boss has been vocal against the hectic fixtures list and the drawbacks it has had on the welfare of his players. The Merseyside giants have been reeling with an injury crisis and have seen Mane and Salah falling out of form, thus dropping to fourth in the table.

The defending champions have won only twice in their last eight league games and have lost their last two matches at Anfield. When asked about this matter, Klopp blamed fatigue and added that unlike Man City, they did not get a two-week break due to coronavirus, referring to the seven-day break the Citizens got after Boxing Day due to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Etihad.

 "Play football, recover, train, recover, using every single minute each day," Klopp said. "We didn't have a break – I think City had a two-week break for Covid reasons. It's really tough. It's a tough season; I know for some teams it looks less."

These remarks did not sit well with Guardiola, with the City boss making sure to correct his counterpart on this matter – Sterling and Co. had a one-week layoff, not a two-week break – when it was brought up in his pre-match press conference.

"He made a mistake, it was two months, three months, four months - that's why we're in the top-four now," Guardiola sarcastically stated (as per  Goal). "Jurgen has to see the calendar again. We had Covid, we had one week, we played with 14 players in Stamford Bridge. Maybe I'm wrong and it was two or three weeks. 

"When I see Jurgen I will ask him how long we had off. I'm surprised, I thought Jurgen was not that kind of manager, I didn't expect that comment. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. If he sees the calendar he will see it was not two weeks, it was two months."

The Spaniard added: "I'm surprised. I thought Jürgen was not that type of manager, like other ones who are usually doing it. I didn't expect that comment. But maybe it was a misunderstanding from him. If he sees the calendar again he will realise it was not two weeks, it was two months."

Pep went on to accuse Klopp of playing mind games ahead of their Anfield battle, saying: "I'm not irritated. I didn't expect it, not from him. He knows it's not true; come on. Nobody in the Premier League has had two weeks off. Everyone knows it. Some of them, with that kind of situation, do it on purpose but I didn't expect he would do it. I thought he's not that type of guy, but, if he did it, OK. Maybe I was wrong."

Despite this little spat, all that matters in Sunday's clash is the three points. City have not won a game at Anfield since May 2003 and will be looking to end that horrible run. Victory would also severely dent Liverpool's title hopes as Guardiola's side would pull 10 points clear of the defending champions with a game in hand.

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