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Jurgen Klopp hints at why Darwin Nunez squared up to Pep Guardiola in angry exchange



Jurgen Klopp hints at why Darwin Nunez squared up to Pep Guardiola in angry exchange

Manchester City failed to win a home Premier League game for the first time in 2023 as Liverpool earned a 1-1 draw, with tensions boiling over after the full-time whistle

Jurgen Klopp admitted there was a “historic rivalry” between Liverpool and Manchester City after the Reds boss held back Darwin Nunez during an angry altercation with Pep Guardiola.

The City boss appeared angry at the final whistle after seeing Erling Haaland’s 50th Premier League strike cancelled out by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late equaliser.

The champions were denied a second goal when VAR Stuart Attwell backed referee Chris Kavanagh’s decision that Manuel Akanji had fouled Liverpool keeper Alisson before Ruben Dias poked into an empty net.

Guardiola, asked what caused the row with Nunez, said: “Nothing happened. He is stronger than me! There is no problem.”

Klopp insisted he was stunned by the altercation. “I am the wrong person to ask,” he said. “We’re not fierce rivals (with City); we are just rivals. But I am not sure Darwin Nunez knows about any historical rivals.”

Guardiola felt his reigning champions deserved to win after limiting Liverpool to just two chances. But Liverpool stormed back to take a point after Dias’ effort was ruled out in the 68th minute, with the home side leading 1-0.

Guardiola said, “I haven’t watched it [the disallowed goal] again. But I had five flash interviews after the game, and I was asked the same question in every one, so… after what happened in the Newcastle vs. Arsenal game, I don’t know.”

He added, “I am so pleased with the performance. After eight years here, when Liverpool runs, you think, ‘oh my God.’ When they run, it is still heavy metal, and sometimes all you can do is pray, but we limited them to just two chances.

“We had eight or nine chances, but football is like that. Statistics, who deserved to score more, that doesn’t count.”

Klopp felt his team had delivered a statement of intent with the way they fought back. He said, “We have passed a test. I am not sure it was THE test, but coming here to face this team is the hardest game in the world.

“We came here with a team that has been together a lot longer than this one, and we went under the wheels.

City looked like the most likely team to win, but we had chances on the counterattack. We have beaten City before with even fewer chances. I didn’t like our body language at halftime, and I told the players that there was a goal for us in the second half.”

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