Sunday, May 26

Liverpool vs Manchester City: Greatest Premier League Rivalry Ever?

What was once a regional rivalry is now regarded as one of if not the biggest matches of the Premier League era: two of the country’s most entertaining, successful and star-studded sides with two of the most tactically astute managers locking horns for domestic and European glory.

We are reaching the tail end of the 2021/22 football season, quite astonishingly, Man City and Liverpool are both still in a title race, FA cup semi finals, and the UCL semi finals. Moreover, Liverpool also won the Carabao cup earlier this season. With both on the verge of winning a treble or a quadruple, there needs to be a discussion on the quality of competition they have brought to the Premier league during the last decade.

Considering Liverpool’s recent success accelerated after the appointment of Jürgen Klopp in 2015, we will look at there achievements from there onwards. Since then, Liverpool have won 4 major trophies: 1 UCL, 1 Club world cup, 1 Carabao Cup, and 1 Premier League Title. They also reached the champions league final in 2018 but faced defeat to Real Madrid. On the other hand, Pep Guardiola was appointed at City in 2016. Since then, City have yielded 10 trophies: 3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 4 Carabao Cups, 2 Community Shields. Two teams being this closely brilliant at the same time is very rare and extraordinary. The perfect way to describe how close the two teams actually are is to look at their points accumulation in past 3 years in the league. Liverpool has achieved 278 points, while City has achieved 279. This shows how both teams push the other to be better and hence, increase the quality of the league altogether. “What is sure is that Liverpool and City in the last years, we have raised the bar. We have raised the targets the Premier League had before”, Pep Guardiola. Pep isn’t lying, the intensity these two teams have brought to the league has revolutionized the way teams now approach matches. Teams now look at ways to press the team in possession with extreme intensity, an idea many say was brought by Klopp and Pep. The recruitment sector of the two clubs has to be praised as well. They barely ever sign a player that doesn’t live up to his expectations, this is mainly due to the clubs trusting their managers and providing them the resources and players that they require.

Both teams are currently on course to potentially win a treble, which is the epitome of a great season and has only been achieved by Manchester United in 1999. If one of them was to achieve this, they would write their name into the history books as one of the greatest teams to exist and the respective coaches would be known as one of the elite Europe has ever produced.

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