Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp defends Pep Guardiola's first season at Manchester City

19 March, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Guardiola frustrated by lack of aggression and personality

"He prefers to win the Champions League".

"That probably surprises me more than anything, that a player would miss that opportunity".

One match-up in particular that promises to catch the eye is that between Nathaniel Clyne and former Liverpool man Raheem Sterling. "I respect him a lot and I can say it is [always] quite hard to play his teams".

"You can not plan an ugly game". We played a few outstanding games, but we obviously get judged by the games where we are not very good.

"We will see who we have got and then we look at how we can beat them, how we can perform against them".

"The problem was the first half when we were not there". Usually when we are not at our best we have lost.

The theory becomes reality when looking at the head-to-head record between these two high-profile managers. We usually win good games, but the bad games and the average games we need to be challenging too.

New Leverkusen boss Tayfun Korkut was taking charge of his first Champions League game after Roger Schmidt was sacked when Leverkusen's first-leg defeat was followed by a 6-2 thrashing at Borussia Dortmund.

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Liverpool were fortunate to go into the half-time interval level with Burnley after Georginio Wijnaldum scored an equaliser deep in injury-time.

With third placed City just one point ahead of fourth placed Liverpool in the battle for a top four finish, Guardiola needs a lift at Eastlands on Sunday and he is eager to see how his team respond to the situation.

"Emre has an outstanding attitude", said Klopp.

Oblak produced a remarkable triple save midway through the second half as Atletico held on to their 4-2 first-leg advantage to take their place in Friday's draw for the last eight. It's magnifcent what we have done today, we're really proud.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also has the slight edge in head-to-head meetings with Guardiola following the Reds' victory at Anfield in December. Indeed, Klopp revealed last week that the 26-year-old had "no chance" of being fit for England's upcoming double-header against Germany and Lithuania. "The (international) break hopefully is two weeks, we hope that will bring him back but there will be no game in this time. Hopefully he can run in the second week of the global break and then we will have to see".

Klopp's side are unbeaten against teams in the top six this season and have managed to rise to the big occasion, but have been sloppy against teams at the bottom of the table.

"At half-time we said we couldn't keep going this way or we are out".

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