Man City boss Pep Guardiola offers verdict on Liverpool title bid next season

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola expects a resurgent Premier League title bid by Liverpool next season, claiming that they will be stronger after a difficult campaign for the Reds. 

Liverpool officially relinquished the league to Man City earlier this week when second-placed Manchester United lost 2-1 against Leicester City, making the leaders’ 10-point lead unassailable. It is City’s third title during Guardiola’s five-year reign, and their fifth in 10 years.

A deep injury crisis and underperforming key players have shattered Liverpool’s title defence this term. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side won the division by an 18-point margin in the previous campaign but are now sixth and 23 points behind the league leaders.

However, Guardiola expects Liverpool to challenge at the top of the Premier League again next season.

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“I feel so good, these people from the five years. We make a big picture in the last ten years, we’ve won five. That’s incredible. It’s more important than just this title,” Guardiola said when asked to reflect on his success.  

“We’ve been in the Champions League for a lot of seasons. To win five [leagues] in a decade in this country is massive. The players, sporting directors, many people working at this club to achieve it.

“We have ambition, we sustain the success, the work ethic and many things for a long time. Three in four years I never expected, everything changes in this country but always we were there.

“Last season Liverpool were unstoppable, every season we are close, next season we want to be close again. Every season I have the feeling everyone is stronger, every year, Liverpool will be back next season they have been unlucky.

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“Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal with Mikel [Arteta], they will make a step forward. Many clubs. Look at West Ham how good they play this season. Many clubs, it’s a massive achievement this season.”

Liverpool boss Klopp revealed on Wednesday that he had texted Guardiola and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who he managed at Borussia Dortmund, to congratulate them on winning the league.

Former Barcelona coach Guardiola today said that he took inspiration from Klopp’s time with Dortmund between 2008 and 2015.

The 50-year-old has not yet responded to messages from Klopp and Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.

“It’s a great achievement, congratulations to them. I texted Pep last night already and I texted Ilkay (Gundogan), Klopp said.

Guardiola responded: “I appreciate it a lot, him and Ancelotti. I don’t answer messages, not yet, but I will today. I appreciate it, I admire them.

“It was an inspiration for me, he makes me through his teams at Dortmund and Liverpool a better manager, to think a lot about the opponents. I say thank you so much and appreciate him and Carlo.”

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