Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Getty Images

Champions Manchester City will get their Premier League title defence back on track when they face leaders Liverpool at the Etihad on Thursday.

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Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, City manager Pep Guardiola believes his team can stop Liverpool unbeaten run.

Also reacting, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the champions remain the best in the world, despite their recent losses.

Here, we take a look at the story of Klopp’s history with Guardiola, from their time in Bundesliga to Premier League to the Champions League.


It was Klopp who came out on top in the first meeting against Guardiola as Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich 4-2 in the German Super Cup in 2013.

The game was Guardiola’s competitive debut with Bayern.

Guardiola levelled up the head to head when the two sides met in the Bundesliga, winning 3-0 to record Bayern’s first league victory over Dortmund since February 2010.

Dortmund returned the favour later in the season with a 3-0 victory at the Allianz Arena, but Bayern had already wrapped up the league title by then.

The two sides would meet once more in the 2013/14 season in the German Cup final, with Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller scoring to seal a 2-0 win for Bayern and the double for Guardiola in his debut season.


Again it was Klopp who won the first meeting of the season as Dortmund beat Bayern 2-0 in the German Super Cup, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the goals.

But that would not be a sign of things to come as Guardiola’s Bayern won both league meetings – 2-1 at the Allianz Arena and 1-0 at Signal Iduna Park.

Just over a week after the home defeat, Klopp announced his departure from Dortmund at the end of the season.

And he finished his rivalry with Guardiola in Germany with a win as Dortmund beat Bayern on penalties in the semi-finals of the German Cup.


The rivalry resumed on New Year’s Eve in 2016 as Liverpool hosted Manchester City in the Premier League. Speaking before the game, Guardiola described Klopp as the best attacking coach in world football.

But it was defences that were on top at Anfield, with Georginio Wijnaldum’s eighth-minute header separating the sides as Liverpool won 1-0.

There was plenty of drama in the reverse fixture in March, though. With both teams desperate for three points to boost their top-four hopes, there were glaring misses at both ends – and not to mention a good deal of debate over calls from referee Michael Oliver – in a thrilling contest.

Ultimately James Milner’s penalty was cancelled out by Sergio Aguero and the sides shared the points before eventually finishing in the Champions League qualifying spots.


The Etihad was the venue for the first of four clashes between Manchester City and Liverpool in 2017/18 – although few at the stadium for that early September fixture would have expected Klopp’s side to go on to become the chief tormentors of Guardiola’s men after their 5-0 thrashing.

Aguero hit the opener despite a promising start from the Reds but Sadio Mane’s sending off on 37 minutes for a high boot on goalkeeper Ederson would shape the rest of the fixture – and the debate which raged in the days afterwards about the justice of the decision.

Gabriel Jesus’ goals either side of the break took the contest away from Liverpool, and, as the visitors’ defence crumbled, Leroy Sane’s late double rubbed salt in the wounds and handed Klopp his joint-heaviest defeat as a manager.

Manchester City were ruthless and they maintained that approach throughout the first half of the season, dropping just four points and staying unbeaten for their first 22 Premier League fixtures… until they ran into a Liverpool side determined for revenge at Anfield on January 14.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had the hosts ahead within 10 minutes and, although Sane levelled before half-time, three quickfire goals around the hour mark from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah had the home crowd roaring and Liverpool on course for an emphatic response to their Etihad defeat.

Familiar defensive frailties were on show again in the final minutes, though, as first Bernardo Silva and then Ilkay Gundogan pulled goals back for City, but Liverpool just held on to take a 4-3 win.

Little did Klopp know at the time that his own team would deliver two more painful defeats on Guardiola’s side in the Champions League quarter-finals. On a raucous Anfield night in April, Liverpool surged into a 3-0 lead in a little over a half hour of the first leg of the tie. City, whose progress to the stadium had been slowed by Liverpool supporters, could find no way through a Reds backline bolstered by January signing Virgil van Dijk.

With it all to do, City attempted an early onslaught of their own in the second leg and had their tail up when Gabriel Jesus netted two minutes in. But Liverpool again stood firm to the pressure and second-half goals from Salah and Firmino grabbed a brilliant away win and 5-1 aggregate success.

City would go on to be runaway Premier League champions, while Liverpool would lose in the Champions League final, but – thanks to the football served up by Guardiola and Klopp – their clashes were among the highlights of the campaign.


Hostilities were renewed earlier this season when the two sides met at Anfield on Super Sunday.

Manchester City had the chance to strike an early blow in the title race when Riyad Mahrez had the chance to snatch all three points for the champions after Virgil van Dijk tripped Leroy Sane in the penalty area on 85 minutes.

However, the Algeria international missed the chance to end Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season, smashing the ball high over the crossbar from 12 yards as the much-anticipated top-of-the-table clash ended in a 0-0 draw to both sides’ then flawless starts to the season intact.