Pep Guardiola recently set a new record as the manager of Manchester City, which also presents a new challenge for Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp.
Liverpool were slated to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, while Manchester City were set to play Brentford at the Etihad. However, due to City’s participation in the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia, the Brentford fixture was postponed.
In the Club World Cup semi-final, Manchester City defeated Japanese team Urawa Reds with a 3-0 scoreline. This victory paved their way to the final against Copa Libertadores champions, Fluminense. Interestingly, when English teams faced Brazilian opponents in the competition’s final in the past, matches like Liverpool’s 2019 encounter with Flamengo and Chelsea’s 2022 game against Palmeiras needed extra time.
Yet, City’s performance was dominant, clinching a 4-0 win. Julian Álvarez’s goal within 40 seconds set the tone, followed by an own goal from Nino and a goal from Phil Foden in the 72nd minute. Álvarez sealed the victory with his second goal towards the end.
Manchester City’s journey to the Gulf was impressive, evident from their seven-goal tally. The next challenge for them is how they will perform as they return to the busy Premier League festive schedule.
Pep Guardiola has achieved a unique milestone in English football history. His team faced little resistance in the recent mini-tournament, marking a significant accomplishment for the manager. Not even the renowned Sir Alex Ferguson managed to secure five trophies within a single calendar year for an English club.
City’s recent victories in the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla and the Club World Cup have added to their historic treble, a feat last achieved by Ferguson’s Manchester United in 1999.
Since Guardiola’s tenure began in Manchester in 2016, he has accumulated seven different trophies. Between 2018 and 2021, he dominated the League Cup and also claimed the Community Shield twice during that span.
“To win the treble was truly special, but to win two more trophies and now hold these five major titles shows the unique mentality of this team, of the club and its fans,” Guardiola reflected (via Man City’s official website). “It is something no other English team has ever achieved and we will always remember this incredible time we spent together.”
Jürgen Klopp achieved global recognition when he led Liverpool to become world champions four years ago. This victory came as Liverpool triumphed over Spurs in the Champions League final and defeated Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup. However, Guardiola has now set a new standard by winning every tournament he’s entered as Manchester City’s manager.
For Klopp to equal this achievement, he must guide Liverpool to Europa League success. This challenge arises eight years after Liverpool’s devastating loss to Sevilla in Basel during Klopp’s initial season with the team.
Fortunately for Liverpool, they have secured a spot in the round of 16 in the upcoming year. With the Champions League group stages concluded and eight teams transferring to the Europa League, Liverpool remains a formidable contender.
The rivalry between Guardiola and Klopp is marked by each manager pushing the boundaries set by the other. Klopp now faces another challenge: filling Anfield’s trophy cabinet with every possible accolade.