Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s rivalry with Liverpool is NOT toxic ‘on our part’ after his club accused Jurgen Klopp of ‘borderline xenophobia’ – and after coin toss, bus attacks and Hillsborough graffiti and chants
Pep Guardiola is adamant that Manchester City’s rivalry with Liverpool is not toxic – despite coins being tossed, team buses attacked, insulting graffiti and chants and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp saying he is ‘borderline xenophobic’.
Guardiola spoke for the first time since the fraught 1-0 defeat at Anfield last week, but he completely dismissed that the rivalry had turned toxic, at least on the part of City.
‘I do not think so. No,” Guardiola said, when asked if the hostility had crossed a line.
“For our part, I’m pretty sure of that.”
During Sunday’s clash, City boss Pep Guardiola (left) was targeted with coins from home fans, while City also claimed an object was thrown at their team bus as they exited Anfield Road (right)
Liverpool are furious after an anonymous briefing from City alleging Klopp was ‘borderline xenophobic’ before the game because he said his side could not compete with the champions’ spending.
Klopp flatly rejected claims that his comments before Liverpool’s defeat to City were ‘borderline xenophobic’ and insisted he would hate himself if that was the case when he spoke to the media this week.
City doubled their stance after the 1-0 loss at Anfield, sending out the message that Klopp’s claim was ‘there are three clubs in world football that can do what they want financially’ – presumably City, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle. prejudiced.
Klopp was told on Tuesday that he has resisted xenophobia all his life and he replied: “Absolutely. In this particular case, I don’t feel it at all.
‘I know myself. And you can’t hit with something that’s miles away from my personality. If I was (xenophobic) I would hate it. I would hate myself for being like that.
City fans have been accused of ruining the Anfield end and singing Hillsborough chants – something both clubs have strongly condemned
“I’ve often said things that were a little prone to misunderstanding. I know that.
“It wasn’t meant to be, sometimes you say things and think, ‘Oh my God! It can be interpreted that way!” But this is not one of those moments. Absolute.’
Guardiola kept tight-lipped on the subject of Liverpool during his press conference on Friday, but did address claims of offensive chants made from the end around tragedies involving Liverpool.
“I didn’t hear the singing,” he said.
“If it happened, I’m so sorry. It doesn’t represent who we are as a team or club if it happened.”
Jamie Carragher slammed at Manchester City on Friday over alleged comments about Klopp.
Writing in his column for The TelegraphCarragher said City had “descended to the level of the idiots on Twitter” and “crossed a line” with the claim, which Liverpool and Klopp vehemently denied.
City’s bus was previously targeted, with Liverpool fans throwing bottles and cans ahead of a Champions League game in April 2018
Jamie Carragher has hit out at Man City for their recent behavior amid feud with Liverpool
“Go on social media and the resentment being expressed between fans is toxic and exhausting,” he wrote.
“Every club has an unwelcome minority who let them down from time to time, whether they’re singing disgusting chants or throwing objects. They don’t represent an entire fan base.
“In the wake of a game that should have been celebrated as the best the Premier League has to offer, a line was crossed last weekend when Jurgen Klopp was accused of xenophobia.
“With that briefing, City dropped to the level of the idiots on Twitter.”