EPL

Guardiola thanks Liverpool boss Klopp for title text: He made me a better manager

By Sports Desk May 13, 2021

Pep Guardiola thanked Jurgen Klopp for his Premier League title text message after Manchester City succeeded Liverpool as champions, saying the Reds boss has pushed him to a new level.

Klopp described rival Guardiola as "the best manager in the world" in a news conference on Wednesday, the day after City secured a third title in four seasons.

The text from Klopp to Guardiola was not the only one sent from Merseyside, with Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti also sending his congratulations. 

"I received a lot. He and Carlo Ancelotti have done it," said Guardiola.

"I appreciate it a lot from both of them. I could not answer messages, not yet, but I will do it today."

Speaking on Thursday, Guardiola offered a salute to the Liverpool and Everton bosses, both of whom have won Champions League and domestic titles in storied careers.

The rise of Klopp has forced Guardiola to pull out all the stops to deliver success both at City and previously at Bayern Munich, when Klopp's Borussia Dortmund were such a force.

"It was an inspiration for me. He has made me through his teams at Dortmund and Liverpool a better manager," Guardiola said.

"I would say thank you so much, I appreciate it a lot from him and Carlo."

Guardiola and City may have wrapped up the club's fifth title in 10 years, but they can still secure a host of achievements before turning their focus to the May 29 Champions League final against Chelsea.

They head to Newcastle United on Friday evening in the Premier League, and a win at St James' Park would be a 12th successive away victory for City. That would break the all-time record for the top four tiers in English football. Chelsea achieved 11 in a row in 2008 and City did so in 2017 before repeating that on their current unbroken streak of away-day successes.

City are also one short of matching the record for clean sheets achieved away from home across all competitions by a top-flight team in a single season. They have racked up 16 shut-outs so far, one short of the record jointly held by Liverpool (1975-76), Chelsea (2003-04) and Manchester United (2008-09).

Their away form has been something remarkable, with City undefeated in their most recent 22 games on the road.

That is already the longest such run by an English top-flight team, but City would also surpass the record for the top four tiers of the English game should they avoid defeat on Tyneside.

Notts County also went 22 games unbeaten away from home between February and December 2012 while in League One.

Related items

  • Depay fit to start alongside Gakpo for Netherlands against Qatar Depay fit to start alongside Gakpo for Netherlands against Qatar

    Memphis Depay was named in the Netherlands starting XI for the first time at the 2022 World Cup ahead of their final Group A match against Qatar.

    The Barcelona forward was battling a hamstring injury heading into the tournament and was initially ruled out of the opener against Senegal, only to appear from the bench in a 2-0 win.

    Depay was a substitute again as Louis van Gaal's side drew with Ecuador, and the coach insisted ahead of the meeting with hosts Qatar he would be taking no risks.

    However, he said: "We're going to do anything and everything to progress to the next match."

    That has led to a recall for talisman Depay – a member of Van Gaal's 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil – who lines up alongside breakout star Cody Gakpo in attack.

    Gakpo was a chief beneficiary of Depay's absence, trusted to be the Netherlands' creative force behind a front two of Steven Bergwijn and Vincent Janssen.

    The PSV attacker, linked with Manchester United, was moved into the front line against Ecuador and now keeps his place there, linking up with Depay.

    Gakpo has scored two of the Oranje's three goals so far.

    The Netherlands will be through with a win or a draw and would advance regardless if Ecuador defeated Senegal.

  • 'Marvellous' Ten Hag will need time to deliver Man Utd vision, says De Boer 'Marvellous' Ten Hag will need time to deliver Man Utd vision, says De Boer

    Erik ten Hag has done a "marvellous" job since taking charge at Manchester United, says former Netherlands midfielder Ronald de Boer.

    But the Dutchman says his compatriot will need time to fully implement his ideas and secure a full turnaround in fortunes for the Red Devils.

    Ten Hag succeeded interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of last season, and has weathered a slow start – plus the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo – to emerge with an enhanced reputation.

    With United fifth in the Premier League amid its mid-season break for the World Cup, De Boer believes the former Ajax boss has shown his mettle under the microscope to impress so far.

    "I think he has been marvellous," he told Sky Sports. "We're talking about the biggest league in the world.

    "Everybody has an opinion about Manchester United, not only in England but all over the world. I must say he's coping very well.

    "He's had to make some decisions, and I think if you just look from the outside, they're starting to play better. I think you give him time."

    Despite an upturn in both mood and form for United, the likelihood of a silverware challenge already looks slim, with the club 11 points off Premier League leaders Arsenal.

    But De Boer pointed to both Ten Hag's prior record and that of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, who has also battled criticism for underachievement during his tenure, only to now be leading a title charge.

    "He had a great four years at Ajax with an unbelievable amount of trophies, so give him time," he reinforced. "Look at Mikel Arteta.

    "He had the worst team in the history of Arsenal, and now he's maybe the second-best manager after [Manchester City boss Pep] Guardiola.

    "I think [Ten Hag has] shown the quality. I believe heavily in Erik ten Hag."

  • Portugal-Uruguay pitch invader released without charge Portugal-Uruguay pitch invader released without charge

    The protester who halted Portugal and Uruguay's Group H match at the World Cup has been released without charge.

    Mario Ferri entered the field five minutes into the second half at Lusail Stadium, forcing a temporary stoppage while security caught and ejected him.

    The Italian was carrying a rainblow flag and sported a shirt with the Superman logo alongside the messages "Save Ukraine" and "Respect for Iranian Women".

    Ferri confirmed on Tuesday that he had been released, and explained the reasoning behind his protest.

    "FIFA banned rainbow captain bands and human rights flags in the stands," he wrote on Instagram. "They blocked everyone but not me. We want a free world that respects all races and all ideas.

    "[This is] a message for Iran... where women are not respected. The world must change. We can do it together with strong gestures that come from the heart with courage.

    "Save Ukraine. I spent a month at the war in Kyiv as a volunteer and saw how much people are suffering.

    "Thank you for all the messages of love that I receive from the world. Breaking the rules if done for a good cause is never a crime."

    Ferri is a frequent pitch invader, having previously interrupted matches at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

    Portugal went on to win Monday's encounter, sealing their spot in the last 16.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.