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Pep v Klopp: Five of Man City and Liverpool’s most memorable PL clashes

Manchester City meet Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend as one of the division’s most fascinating rivalries resumes at the Etihad.

The two teams have shared each of the last five Premier League titles between them and have pushed each other to huge heights in recent campaigns, ending as the division’s top two in three of the last four seasons. It is a rivalry built on competition for the game’s top prizes and one which has continued to increase in animosity and interest.

As Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp prepare to go head-to-head once again this weekend, we look back at five of Manchester City and Liverpool’s most memorable Premier League clashes.

Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City (2018)

Liverpool ended Manchester City’s hopes of an unbeaten Premier League season after a thrilling fixture between the teams in 2017/18. City were cruising towards a first league title under Pep Guardiola and has opened the season with a 22-game unbeaten run, before Jurgen Klopp’s side stunned the league leaders at Anfield.

Liverpool had lost the reverse fixture 5-0 at the Etihad after Sadio Mane had been sent off for a high challenge on Ederson before half-time, but the Reds – roared on by a raucous home crowd – took City apart with a three-goal blitz on Merseyside.

Leroy Sane had cancelled out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s opener to leave the score level at the interval, but a quick-fire salvo saw the Reds race clear after the break.

Roberto Firmino brushed aside John Stones before lifting an audacious effort over Ederson to hand Liverpool the lead, before Sadio Mane lashed in a high finish just two minutes later. Mohamed Salah made it four after capitalising on Ederson’s error to fire in from range, with City shell-shocked and stunned.

Guardiola’s side fought back into the contest to set up a grandstand finish however, as late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan led to a frantic finish. Liverpool held on to earn a memorable win, one which lit the touch paper for a modern rivalry.

Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool (2019)

Having cantered towards a record-breaking title to become ‘Centurions’ the previous season, Manchester City found themselves in the position as chasers when the teams met in 2018/19.

Liverpool had followed up the aforementioned win over City by eliminating Pep Guardiola’s side from the Champions League quarter-finals, before taking charge of the title race the following season. Jurgen Klopp’s side arrived at the Etihad in early January with a seven-point lead at the top, having opened the season with a 20-game unbeaten run.

In an encounter packed full of tension, City reignited the Premier League title race by the narrowest of margins. Sergio Aguero’s rifled finish had fired the champions into the lead, but Roberto Firmino put the finishing touch on a fine Liverpool move to level the score.

Knowing nothing less than a win would do, City poured forward and found a winner as Leroy Sane drilled across Alisson to close the gap on the leaders to just four points. It proved a decisive win in the title race as City edged out Liverpool by just a single point, following a relentless run-in that saw both teams end the campaign with long winning runs.

John Stones’ improbable goal-line clearance ultimately secured City the title, as the defender scrambled the ball from the line after his attempted clearance struck goalkeeper Ederson. The goal-line technology later revealed that Liverpool were denied a goal – and crucial result – by just 1.12cm.

Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City (2019)

After an agonising near miss the previous season, Liverpool’s pursuit of an elusive league title saw Jurgen Klopp’s side storm to the top of the table in 2019/20.

Liverpool boasted a six-point lead over Manchester City when the teams met at Anfield in November and took a huge step towards the Premier League title with an emphatic win. Fabinho fired the Reds ahead with a thunderous effort after just six minutes, before Mohamed Salah headed home a second seven minutes later from Andy Robertson’s cross.

Sadio Mane nodded in a third for the hosts just before the hour, with Bernardo Silva’s response for the visitor’s little consolation.

Liverpool moved clear at the top and continued on in fine form to record the best-ever start to a season in one of Europe’s top five leagues. The Reds won 26 and drew one of their opening 27 games, creating the Premier League’s biggest ever point lead (25).

Klopp’s side wrapped up a first title in three decades with seven games to spare and ended the season on 99 points, 18 clear of Manchester City.

Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City (2021)

Manchester City ended their Anfield hoo-doo in stunning fashion after thrashing Liverpool 4-1 to take control of the 2020/21 title race.

City had not won at Liverpool since 2003, but ended their winless run with a scintillating performance to increase the pressure on the defending champions. Ilkay Gundogan’s missed penalty had threatened to extend the narrative of City’s misery on Merseyside, but the midfielder atoned for that error after firing the visitors ahead four minutes into the second half.

Mohamed Salah levelled for Liverpool from the penalty spot, but a nightmare performance from Alisson and a devastating display from Phil Foden earned Pep Guardiola’s side the win.

Alisson’s errors were ruthlessly punished, as the goalkeeper twice made poor clearances with the ball at his feet. The first saw Foden tee up Gundogan for a second before another mistake allowed Bernardo Silva to cross for Raheem Sterling to head home from close range.

Foden then sealed a stunning win with a magical fourth, as he cut inside to lash home an unstoppable effort past Alisson. It was a result that put City in pole position to reclaim the title and left Liverpool ten points from the top.

Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City (2021)

An enthralling encounter that served as the perfect advert for the Premier League and the modern rivalry between the division’s dominant forces.

Liverpool and Manchester City shared four goals in a pulsating clash at Anfield, one which saw the momentum swing and the game’s biggest stars produce special moments. City had dominated the opening exchanges without finding a breakthrough and were punished for their wastefulness around goal as Sadio Mane raced onto Mohamed Salah’s pass to score.

Phil Foden – who tormented stand-in right-back James Milner – issued a response ten minutes later, as the winger fired home a low finish from a narrow angle past Alisson. Milner somehow avoided a second yellow card after bringing down Bernardo Silva and Pep Guardiola was incensed as Liverpool retook the lead.

It was a moment of magic from Salah, who slalomed past a succession of City shirts to score a sensational solo goal.

City fought back and earned the draw their performance deserved, as Kevin De Bruyne’s fierce strike deflected past Alisson to equalise. There was still time for more drama, however, as Rodri’s heroic block prevented Fabinho from scoring a certain winner for Liverpool in the closing stages.

Read – Iconic Duos: Heskey and Owen – Liverpool’s ‘big man, small man’ combo that inspired a cup treble

Read Also – Midfield Magicians: David Silva – El Mago

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