English Premier League: Liverpool and Manchester City’s bitter rivalry boils over at Anfield
- City manager Pep Guardiola claims home fans threw coins at him during his side’s 1-0 defeat
- Counterpart Jurgen Klopp sent off and Liverpool accuse away fans of ‘vile chants related to football stadium tragedies’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Liverpool fans needed to improve their aim after coins were allegedly thrown at him – and missed – during his team’s 1-0 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool, meanwhile, said City fans must behave better.
“We are deeply disappointed to hear vile chants relating to football stadium tragedies from the away section during today’s game at Anfield,” Liverpool said in a statement after the Premier League game. “The concourse in the away section was also vandalised with graffiti of a similar nature.”
It is not the first time the rivalry between English football’s two dominant teams of recent years has turned bitter.
In 2018, City’s team bus was attacked by Liverpool supporters ahead of a Champions League quarter final at the same stadium. And the wounds clearly run deep for Guardiola, who joined City in 2016.
Sunday’s flash point came after Phil Foden’s second-half goal was ruled out when VAR invited referee Anthony Taylor to review the pitchside monitor, and he spotted a foul on Fabinho in the build-up.
The City manager angrily remonstrated with the crowd, wildly gesticulating before he claims coins were thrown in his direction.
“Next time they will do it better,” he said. “They didn’t get me. They try it again next year.
“All these coins, they tried, but didn’t get it. They got the coach years ago.”
Liverpool said they would investigate the alleged incident and any fan found guilty of throwing coins faced a lifetime ban from Anfield.
The club were fined almost US$20,000 for incidents around the Champions League match four years ago, which included such severe damage to City’s team bus that a replacement was required to get the players back to Manchester.
The rivalry on the field has grown increasingly fierce because of the quality of both teams in recent seasons.
And that was in evidence in this latest instalment, even on the back of Liverpool enduring such a difficult start to the campaign that City went into the match 13 points ahead of last season’s runners up.
Jurgen Klopp was sent off after furiously racing out of his technical area to complain about a late decision, for which the Liverpool manager later apologised.
“It is about emotion of course so [it was a] red card,” Klopp said. “My fault. I went over the top in the moment. I know myself, I am 55 and I deserve a red card.”
Klopp also apologised to Guardiola for the alleged coin throwing, saying it was “horrible” and “never should happen”.
While that incident threatened to overshadow the result, this was an occasion when Liverpool showed they potentially remain a major threat to City.
Mohamed Salah’s 76th-minute goal was the difference but the home team had the better chances in an engrossing encounter.
Salah was denied by Ederson when one-on-one with the City goalkeeper in the second half, while substitute Darwin Nunez missed a golden opportunity late on to extend the lead.