Manchester City-Liverpool, "the Premier League Clasico"

Before going to the semi-finals of the Cup at Wembley, Manchester City and Liverpool have an appointment at the Etihad this Sunday for the 31st day of the Premier League. A clash that could mark a turning point in the thrilling title race between the two clubs, whose meetings are on the way to becoming a classic of British football.

Since August 2018, Manchester City have played 144 league games and picked up 338 points. Or an average of 89.2 points per season. Nobody competes across the Channel, with one exception: over this same period, Liverpool totals… 337 units. A tiny point to separate the two monsters, proof of a sensational regularity. A point is also the gap between the two clubs before their collision on Sunday at the Etihad. A shock at the top, and the new episode of a rivalry which imposes itself year after year in the landscape of English football.

The truth main event

Skyblues and Reds had to battle it out in the League Cup final in 2016 and for the English title in 2013-14, where Liverpool stumbled down the home stretch (literally and figuratively), leaving City to finish two points ahead . This rivalry between neighbors, however, only really emerged when Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp found themselves face to face, after a few memorable games in Germany. “Both teams have raised their level and their consistency with the arrival of their managersestimates Guillem Balague, journalist for the BBC. City and Liverpool have finished in the top two places in the league three times in the past four seasons. In Europe, City are in the quarter-finals for the fourth consecutive year and Liverpool for the third time in four years. City-Liverpool is a bit like the Barça-Real matches of the Guardiola-Mourinho era. »

The changeover is in 2018: 4-3 winners of an epic match at Anfield to stop the series of 22 games without defeat in the league of Citizensthe Reds put the cover back in the quarter-finals of the C1. Slapped 3-0 at Anfield, Pep Guardiola’s men even suffered the affront of another setback, at the Etihad, in the return match (1-2). Since then, the two have been fighting each other in a hellish way. “It has become a bit like the Clásico of the Premier Leaguecontinues Johan Djourou, RMC Sport consultant. These two teams play for the title every season, with coaches who are phenomenal and who each have an assumed style. In terms of quality and intensity, it has become a benchmark. If you are not a supporter of a team and there is a match to see in the year, this is the one. »

“There is no more tension in games with United”

This sporting competition did not really go beyond the framework of the field. The only notable exception: the Mancunian bus had been the target of projectiles during its journey to Anfield in 2018. Incidents condemned by Klopp without any reservations. “There’s a real desire to see Liverpool drop points, but off the pitch it’s not as intense as it is with Unitedbelieves to support it citizen David Mooney, who produces the podcast bluemoon. If Liverpool did not win so much, we would not particularly follow them, while the derby is a question of historical rivalry. In the 1990s, when United were winning everything, you had to survive as a City fan. We’ve been teased, so we’ll never get tired of beating United and making fun of them. If they could come down, it would make me laugh! There is an intense dislike for United. »

“There will be a lot of noise on Sunday because a title is at stake, but City-United is above. It’s an everyday rivalry, seen in bars or homes.” supports Guillem Balague. “It would be more comparable to the United-Arsenal of the 2000s” slide the old one Gunner Johan Djourou. Less rated on the tradition scale, but perhaps on the same level on the emotion scale. “There is no more tension in games with United because the two teams are not at the same levelpoints out David Mooney. The 2-1 win over Liverpool in 2019 is definitely one of the most tense matches I have experienced, due to its importance in the title race. And the best feeling in football is joy after 90 minutes of tension. I imagine there will be the same atmosphere on Sunday. » A match to get closer, side Redof a quadrupled potential, and side Skyblue, of a triplet, since neither of them is satisfied. If you had planned something Sunday between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., you just have to cancel.

By Quentin Ballue
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