Pep Guardiola rejects ‘ridiculous’ Liverpool claims as Jurgen Klopp shares ‘difficult’ moment

At the start of a big weekend for the club, here’s your Liverpool morning roundup for Saturday 26 February.

Pep Guardiola hits back at ‘ridiculous’ Man City claims after Liverpool close the gap

Pep Guardiola has hit back at “ridiculous” claims that Manchester City won the title in December after Liverpool moved within three points of his side in the table.

The Reds closed the gap between themselves and City on Wednesday night after beating Leeds United 6-0 at Anfield in their current game.

Jurgen Klopp’s side warmed up for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final with an utterly dominant display that included three goals in 20 minutes in the first half.

READ MORE: ‘That’s when I stopped him’ – Jurgen Klopp explains why he’ll never wear a suit to a Liverpool cup final again

READ MORE: ‘If it wasn’t for Klopp’ – Liverpool legend explains why Ralf Rangnick owes Reds boss

City appeared to run away with the title in December after Liverpool were held off by Spurs and then beaten by Leicester City at the King Power.

However, a huge variation in results saw Liverpool back in the title hunt, with the two sides due to meet at the Etihad in early April.

“It’s ridiculous that I have to argue this. I am sorry. When we were champions, it wasn’t in December or January,” Guardiola replied via MEN when asked if the recent results were proof that the league was never finished in December.


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‘I’ve just finished, it’s done’ – Jurgen Klopp opens up on Liverpool’s ‘difficult’ moment and explains overlooked issue

When Liverpool walk out to Wembley on Sunday afternoon, they will be greeted by a cacophony of noise and color from 33,000 Reds fans who have made the journey to London.

It couldn’t be further from the events that Jurgen Klopp and his players experienced 12 months before.

Back then, with the world gripped by the coronavirus pandemic and fans limited to watching from the safety of their own homes, Liverpool faced the freezing cold of empty stadiums and the eerie silence of barren stands.

For Klopp, a manager who since joining Anfield in October 2015 has recognized the importance of harnessing the power of Liverpool’s fan base, it was particularly difficult, with James Milner admitting earlier this month that he had noticed that the Reds boss was “gritty” in such trying weather.

Now, with his side aiming to complete the first leg of a still possible treble by beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final, Klopp has spoken candidly about how the previous campaign has affected him.

“I never thought about football more, and I think about football a lot, than at that time,” he says. “How can we make this work? How can we make sure we have just one chance?

“It was really difficult, when everyone was talking about the former champion and now the worst reigning champion ever. Thank you very much, it was really nice.

“Yes, it’s been an incredibly intense season and, yes, I was more than happy to have a holiday. For the first 10 days I didn’t once pull out the phone or anything to ask’ could we have this player?’.

“I didn’t care at the time, just get through it and it’s absolutely true.

“Why shouldn’t managers be different? But for all of us, it was the same. We were all really exhausted. Just finished. Ended.”


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