Liverpool’s rivalry with Man City must come with respect – assistant Pep Lijnders

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders insists their rivalry with Manchester City must be done with respect if they are to avoid emotions boiling over again.

Over the past few years there have been a number of unsavory incidents between supporters, with the last meeting at Anfield in October marred by offensive Hillsborough graffiti written in the away section and allegations of chanting on the 1989 disaster, in which 97 supporters died.

City also claimed coins were thrown at their coaching staff, although a Liverpool investigation found no evidence and one of their buses was damaged leaving Anfield.

The last meeting between the two clubs at Anfield was in October (Peter Byrne/PA)

Manager Jurgen Klopp was also sent off in that match for insulting an assistant referee, who failed to signal a Bernardo Silva foul on Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan and his City counterpart Ferran Soriano wrote a joint letter to supporters reminding them of their responsibilities in a bid to ease tensions and Lijnders thinks it was a good idea.

“It’s very positive that the two clubs are cooperating. Ferran and Billy made a good statement, it was really clear,” he said ahead of their Carabao Cup tie at the Etihad Stadium.

“We know games against City matter and with rivalry comes emotion and that’s good.

“We need emotion in the stands and we need to feel that these games matter. The only problem with emotion is when there is no respect. Then it gets really difficult.

The escalation of hostilities off the pitch dates back to 2018 when the City team coach was targeted with bottles and other items on his arrival for a Champions League quarter-final and since then he There was a simmering resentment between the two sets of fans.

Klopp was accused of stoking tensions ahead of their victory two months ago – and his expulsion did not help his cause – with pre-match comments about City’s buying power, but Lijnders said said the coaching staff needed to take a more distanced view of what happens in the stands and on the pitch.

“Of course. Top-level sport is emotion. It goes to the edges. Top-level sport is seeing the line you want to cross but you hold on,” he said. added.

“For us, it’s impossible to be fully emotional because the game is too fast for that.

“If I’m emotional on one side (of the pitch), the ball is already on the other side or Pep (Guardiola) has already changed something tactically and we have to be aware to counter it or whatever.

Roberto Firmino (right) and Mohamed Salad celebrate

Liverpool’s forward line is expected to include Salah and Firmino (Nick Potts/PA)

‚ÄúThose who control their emotions are always the ones who go the furthest. Control your emotions, don’t let emotions control you. We are an example of this in our team.

Liverpool are likely to name a stronger than usual Carabao Cup squad against City as they look to maintain their grip on the trophy they won in February.

Although neither Dutch captain Virgil Van Dijk nor Ibrahima Konate, both centre-backs, are set to feature, their attacking line is expected to include Salah and Firmino (who weren’t at the World Cup) and Darwin Nunez (eliminated with Uruguay in the group stage).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *