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Ranked! The best games of the Klopp and Guardiola rivalry

For the final time, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola will battle it out as Premier League managers as Liverpool take on Manchester City this weekend.

The last instalment of a rivalry that has defined recent Premier League campaigns will take place at Anfield, with the stakes suitably high as the two teams collide sat first and second in the table.

Just one point separates the sides ahead of the crucial clash and the winner will take a significant step towards being crowned champions.

A thoroughly modern rivalry, Guardiola called Klopp the ‘best rival’ of his coaching career with the German the only manager to have stopped Manchester City from winning the Premier League since 2018.

“They have been our biggest rivals. And personally, he [Klopp] has been the best rival I ever had in my life – in Dortmund when I was in Bayern, then here,” Guardiola said when it was announced Klopp would leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“I think the Premier League are going to miss him – the charisma, the personality and especially the way his teams play.”

Ahead of the final chapter of an era-defining duel, we’ve ranked the five best games of the Klopp and Guardiola rivalry.

Ranked! The best games of the Klopp and Guardiola rivalry:

5. Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City (2020/21)

Manchester City emphatically ended their Anfield hoodoo to take a sizeable step towards reclaiming the Premier League title. Having missed out on the title to Liverpool the previous season, Pep Guardiola’s side inflicted a home humbling on the defending champions.

Ilkay Gundogan skied a first-half penalty with the game goalless but made amends to fire the visitors in front four minutes into the second half. A Mohamed Salah penalty then brought the teams level, but City were not to be denied as a late blitz earned a statement result.

Alisson made two inexplicable errors to hand City the advantage, as two poor clearances within three minutes were ruthlessly punished by Gundogan and Raheem Sterling.

Phil Foden, the standout performer of the evening, lashed in a spectacular fourth to give City their first win at Anfield since 2003.

4. Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City (2019/20)

Liverpool took a giant step towards a maiden Premier League crown after beating Manchester City 3-1 in 2019/20.

The Reds moved nine points clear of the defending champions – and eight ahead at the top of the table – after an impressive performance at Anfield. Fabinho thundered in an opener inside six minutes for the home side, before Mohamed Salah headed in to double Liverpool’s lead after a clinical counter-attack.

Manchester City were left aggrieved after having two handball appeals waved away, with Pep Guardiola cementing himself as a meme for his “Twice!” touchline protests.

Sadio Mane made it three for Liverpool just six minutes into the second half, with Bernardo Silva’s reply for the Citizens little consolation. For Liverpool, this was a decisive blow dealt to their biggest rivals, opening up an advantage the Reds would not relinquish on route to a first top-flight crown for 30 years.

3. Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City (2021/22)

An enthralling occasion as the best two teams of their era went toe-to-toe in a thriller at Anfield.

Manchester City dominated a goalless first-half without finding a breakthrough before the contest exploded after the break. Sadio Mane collected a wondrous outside-of-the-boot pass from Mohamed Salah to fire Liverpool into the lead, only for Phil Foden – who tormented stand-in right-back James Milner – to hit back with a low finish across Alisson.

Mohamed Salah scored one of the great Premier League goals to restore the Reds’ advantage, as the Egyptian slalomed through a succession of City challenges, leaving Joao Cancelo and Aymeric Laporte in his wake, before lifting a finish over Ederson.

Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected strike brought the teams level once more, though there was time for late drama as Rodri’s remarkable block from Fabinho saved a certain goal with five minutes to go. That intervention proved crucial in the context of the campaign, as City beat Liverpool to the title by a single point.

2. Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City (2017/18)

A Premier League classic as Liverpool ended Manchester City’s unbeaten start to the season to light the touch paper in this rivalry.

Pep Guardiola’s side had not lost in their opening 22 games of the Premier League campaign but fell victim to a second-half surge as Liverpool blitzed the league leaders.

Leroy Sane’s goal had cancelled out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s opener for Liverpool at half-time before three goals in the space of nine second-half minutes put Liverpool 4-1 ahead.

Roberto Firmino scored the second after shrugging John Stones off the ball and further goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah continued a madcap spell.

City fought back and reduced the deficit through goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan to set up a nervous finish, but Liverpool held on to claim the points.

Three months later, Liverpool stunned the Blues again 3-0 in an unforgettable Champions League tie.

1. Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool (2018/19)

There have been games of more drama and more goals, but arguably no Manchester City and Liverpool contest has had such consequence or quality.

Two teams at the peak of their powers met in early January, with City requiring a win to keep within reach of Liverpool at the top of the table. A win for Liverpool would have taken them 10 points clear, the title race poised perfectly at the Etihad.

Sergio Aguero thumped in a finish to give Manchester City the lead, before a moment of drama as John Stones scrambled the ball off the line after his attempted clearance hit Ederson – with the ball failing to cross by just 1.12cm.

Liverpool – angered after Vincent Kompany avoided a red card for a lunge on Mohamed Salah – struck back to level with Roberto Firmino concluding a flowing team move.

Both sides had chances to win it, but it was City who claimed the win they so badly needed as Leroy Sane drilled in a winner on 72 minutes.

It was the decisive game of a compelling title race, as City picked up 98 points to Liverpool’s 97.

Read – Five managers set to dominate the summer headlines

See more – Midfield Magicians: Xabi Alonso, the grand master of 4D chess

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