How Manchester City and Liverpool’s rivalry became English football’s fiercest fixture


Manchester City vs Liverpool has become a staple of the Premier League. There has been considerable controversy in recent years.

aggressive chant. Press conference thorns. Fire a missile at the bus. It’s a police investigation. The list goes on.

The two clubs will rock the horns again on Thursday in the latest episode of their recently established rivalry.

But how did we get here?

How did the rivalry start?

Hostility between fans of both clubs has been a problem for much of the past decade.

Perhaps the first signs of an early rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City came back in 2014 when the two clubs first fought for the Premier League title.

They met at Anfield on 13 April that year, and a spectacular finish from Philippe Coutinho took Liverpool a giant step towards their first league title in almost 25 years.

Coutinho should have landed the decisive blow in April 2014 (Photo: Alex Livesy/Getty Images)

As a handful of Manchester City fans left the ground after the match, their minibuses were attacked and windows smashed. The crew claimed it was people in Liverpool shirts who caused the damage.

In the end, it was the supporters on the bus who had the last laugh as Manchester City pushed their northwestern rivals to the league title.

However, targeting bass will continue to be an important topic going forward.

another flash point

The two teams met in the quarter-finals of the Champions League during the 2017/18 season.

When Manchester City players and staff arrived at Anfield, they were met with a particularly hostile atmosphere. I was fined.

Jürgen Klopp was quick to condemn the actions of the supporters involved, who were already physically and emotionally damaged.

As far as Merseyside police were concerned, there was no punishment for the perpetrators, which Manchester City felt was “disappointing” at the time.

Luckily, the second leg of the same tie ended without too much trouble, but more came from both fans.

hillsboro chants

Ahead of last season’s FA Cup semi-final, Manchester City were politely asked to observe a minute’s silence to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster that claimed the lives of 97 fans in 1989.

Some Manchester City fans broke a minute of silence in April’s FA Cup semi-final. (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

After the game, a club spokesman said he was “extremely disappointed” by the behavior of the fans.

It also opened an investigation in April after it was recorded that two supporters appeared to mock the disaster during a league match that ended in a 2-2 draw.

These chants reappeared earlier in the season when the two clubs met at Anfield in October. Five minutes into the intense game, he heard away fans chanting in reference to the Hillsborough disaster.

What else happened at that game in October?

The incident wasn’t the only controversy in the match.

Despite only scoring one goal, it was considered one of the most exciting Premier League matches of recent times. A cool finish from Mohamed Salah decided the match, which was played in a furious atmosphere.


A few clashes on the touchline only added fuel to the fire as Klopp was shown a red card for his actions. He unleashed a barrage of abuse directly on assistant referee Gary Beswick, leaving Anthony Taylor with little choice but to fire him.

Earlier, Pep Guardiola played a role in angering home supporters by protesting people in the main stand after being furious that Phil Foden’s goal was ruled out.

Guardiola claimed after the game that he was targeted with coins from Liverpool fans in that section of the stadium. It could be better next time. ”

Klopp publicly apologized after spending the second half of the stage in the stands and the incident was investigated by the club and the FA. Liverpool were unable to punish the supporters as they were unable to find conclusive evidence.

Then, the day after the match, City claimed that the bus had been hit again and that the object had smashed the car’s windshield.

Merseyside police were again involved and a complaint was filed on Tuesday.

There were also allegations of criminal damage against City fans, with footage of vandalized graffiti and vandalized bathrooms at the away end.

After the game, City sensationally claimed that comments made by Klopp about the financial imbalance between the two clubs during Friday’s pre-match press conference were responsible for the heightened atmosphere at Anfield, threatening them. Some have even considered it “borderline xenophobic” and “racist.” ‘.

These proposals were rejected by Liverpool. No one at Manchester City made this claim public.

What has been done to improve your relationship with your fans?

Naturally, there are concerns that further problems could arise if the two face each other before Christmas in the Carabao Cup.

That is why senior officials from both clubs met last month to improve relations between fans. athletic.


Representatives from both clubs’ fan networks City Matters and Liverpool’s Supporters’ Board attended the same meeting and admitted that only a small minority of supporters had caused problems.

As a result of that coming together, both clubs have decided to write to fans to “address the behavior” that caused the recent nasty scene.

The joint letter was signed by the CEOs of both clubs, Manchester City’s Ferran Soriano and Liverpool’s Billy Hogan. “I am writing to you today on behalf of both Manchester City and Liverpool ahead of the Carabao Cup match at the Etihad Stadium later this week.

“Like any other meeting between our clubs, we are confident that the countdown to kick-off promises to be a spectacular spectacle of football.

“The passion and enthusiasm of the fans when we play games at the Etihad Stadium or Anfield is part of what makes our matches between clubs so special, and you all go out of your way to create the stadium environment. We know you are welcomed, accepted and have a great matchday experience.

“Unfortunately, based on recent meetings between our clubs, we also know that a minority of fans are responsible for actions and behaviors unrelated to our games.

“Therefore, we are writing to ask for your full support in addressing these actions and ensuring that the good names of both clubs are maintained. Please use it to report incidents.”

You can read the rest of the message from both CEOs here.

What do Klopp and Guardiola say about their rivalry?

After the FA Cup semi-final and subsequent visit to Manchester United, Klopp dealt with chants about Hillsborough from rival clubs.

“I never expect perfection, but I always believe that supporters in general are a force for good, because that’s what they are,” said the Liverpool boss. “That’s why I’m incredibly disappointed that more and more people are singing about the Hillsborough disaster these days.

“Really? Is it laughable now that 97 people died in a tragedy? How did that happen?

“There are club staff who have lost loved ones in Hillsboro. At every match we have, there are supporters who have lost friends and family members, and supporters who have survived the tragedy. They have already suffered more than enough. .

“You shouldn’t feel like you should let them suffer more, because it definitely doesn’t.

I know some people say, “But what about this, what about that?” So I want to be very clear: if you go to a football game to sing about people dying, you shouldn’t bother coming. Football doesn’t want this, football doesn’t need this.”


Klopp and Guardiola have shared a very strange relationship over the past six years (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Guardiola has apologized for the chants emanating from the away end after the defeat in October.

I didn’t hear the chant, so I’m sorry if it happened,” he said. “If this happens, it doesn’t represent who we are as a team or as a club, but don’t worry, we will perform perfectly and we will have no problem learning from our mistakes.”

When asked about the toxic relationship between the two clubs, he replied: From our side, I’m pretty sure. ”

(Photo above: Lawrence Griffith/Getty Images)


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