Pep Guardiola has admitted that he has sympathy for Jurgen Klopp after his Liverpool counterpart conceded that the Premier League champions are unlikely to defend their title this season.
Three consecutive defeats – including a 4-1 loss against Manchester City at Anfield – have left Liverpool sitting in sixth place, 13 points adrift of Guardiola’s pacesetters and facing a battle to finish in the top four.
Klopp has also suffered the personal tragedy of recently losing his mother Elisabeth, who died at the age of 81 in his native Germany. The Liverpool manager was unable to attend Elisabeth’s funeral due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
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Guardiola’s mother Dolors Sala Carrio passed away last April and – having also struggled to defend the Premier League title last season – the Catalan said that he can empathise with Klopp.
When asked whether he had sympathy for Klopp in a personal and professional capacity, Guardiola said: “A lot. What he’s produced in world football is exceptional.
“I said many times, now and previously in Germany, his philosophy makes football attractive for all spectators, he always wants to produce joy to the fans and world football, attacking football, and no doubts about it.
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“We have good and bad moments, there is no manager or club that can sustain season after season, winning and winning. It would be boring. Sometimes you have to lose, to realise and sometimes it’s so effective.
“I speak personally, from my point of view, I don’t say for my colleagues: sometimes it’s good to lose, it’s good to realise how difficult everything is.
“When you come back and try to win some games, you get more credit and more value and you’re more satisfied for what you’ve done.”
City travel to Merseyside to face Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, with the opportunity to go 10 points clear at the top of the table.
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