Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City’s title fight with Liverpool draws comparisons to his previous La Liga battles with Real Madrid as Barcelona manager.
The Catalan icon stopped short of suggesting a two-horse race for the Premier League title between City and Liverpool but did argue that the Reds’ great history could give them the greater push.
📅 28 Years Ago Today:— SPORF (@Sporf) December 16, 2018
🇪🇸 Pep Guardiola made his @FCBarcelona debut.
6🏆 La Liga
1🏆 Super Cup
1🏆 Copa Del Rey
3🏆 La Liga
3🏆 Club World Cup
2🏆 Copa del Rey
2🏆 DFB Pokal
1🏆 EFL Cup pic.twitter.com/FAeyV2QPmc
Guardiola also revealed that the battle with Jurgen Klopp’s side has similarities to his past experiences of El Clasico and suggested that any side aspiring to win the title may need close to 100 points. As quoted by the Daily Mail, the Spaniard admitted: “It’s quite similar – I have that feeling.
“It’s just trying to win every game to be there – when you are in front, try to keep the moment. The players know it.
“Madrid were always demanding a lot – at least when I was there – and we knew it.
“We could lose against Real Madrid but we had to win against the others or we were not able to win the title. That is why we won the leagues with 99 points, 96 points – a lot of points.”
However, Guardiola conceded that the Reds and Manchester United are historically the two biggest clubs in England, ahead of the huge clash between the old rivals at Anfield on Sunday.
“Liverpool and United are the biggest clubs in the history of England and [for Liverpool] 28 years without winning the league is many, many years,” Guardiola continued.
“I’d say the manager and players go, ‘Oh, we have the challenge to write our own history.’ For them it’s so important, but they’re a top team.
“They are going to drop a few points – not too many – so we have to be there to be close to them and catch up.
“I’ve lived with it and I’m used to it. It’s not comfortable but with that pressure you can win. It’s not just Liverpool, there is Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal… Man United can make a good run and join us.
“We knew it from the beginning, everyone had that feeling. The level has increased a lot compared to the last two or three seasons, with how the big teams are playing. Everyone is feeling we have to give extra.”
City regained the advantage in the title race with a convincing 3-1 win at home to Everton on Saturday and will be watching with anticipation as Liverpool host Manchester United in a colossal encounter at Anfield on Sunday.