Guardiola reflects on Man City's defeat at PSG
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that Jurgen Klopp’s influence at Liverpool has forced him into becoming a better manager ahead of Sunday’s titanic clash between the two clubs. City will go into the fixture with the intention of leapfrogging the Reds at the top of the Premier League table by taking all three points after a disappointing loss in midweek.
Guardiola’s side were beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League group stage meeting on Wednesday evening, with Idrissa Gueye and Lionel Messi getting the goals.
City should have equalised through Bernardo Silva in the first half, but the Portuguese maestro somehow failed to turn the ball home from close range after Raheem Sterling’s effort rattled the crossbar.
It remains to be seen whether City will be able to return to winning ways against Liverpool, who hit five to register a dominant victory over Porto on Tuesday.
The two sides have consistently battled it out for the Premier League title in recent years and this season looks to be no different after just six games of the new campaign.
Liverpool are currently leading the way by a single point and will stretch their advantage if Klopp can engineer another victory over Guardiola, a manager he has beaten on nine occasions in the dugout.
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The City boss admitted in Friday’s press conference that he considers Klopp to be among the elite few in world football, insisting that the latter’s presence in England has forced him to improve his own style of management.
“He helped me, his teams helped me to be a better manager,” Guardiola told reporters.
“Give me another level to think about it, prove myself, what I have to do to be a better manager with our teams to try and beat them.
“It’s the reason why I’m still in this business. There are some managers, Jurgen is one, to challenge you to move a step forward.
“In Germany when we face each other, I couldn’t face him in Barcelona. Here we have many years, many competitions together.
“Every game was nice, both teams have the same idea, go to score goals in different ways. Quicker than us, but in the same way to win the games.”
Guardiola went on to express his admiration for Liverpool, insisting that it is a privilege to be competing for silverware with arguably England’s biggest club on a regular basis.
“For ours, it’s an honour to be a rival with Liverpool,” he added.
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“Decades ago we weren’t rivals to them. For many years we try to compete with these legendary clubs so it’s an honour.
“Hopefully [it’s an honour] for them too. To compete against one of the historic teams in England, that’s nice for us.”
City should have the vast majority of players available for selection against Liverpool, with just two absentees expected for Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ilkay Gundogan will remain sidelined with their respective injuries but could be set for a return to action after the international break.
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