A newborn rivalry: Liverpool vs Manchester City

Pushing the standards of world soccer

Thrown beers, foul language, punches thrown, players ejected. Otherwise known as a typical night of English soccer. With decades of history behind them, rivalries such as Manchester City vs Manchester United or Liverpool vs Everton are guaranteed to bring this type of drama, animosity and fiery passion to the world of European soccer.

But in recent years, two teams have defied these stereotypes while still bringing fans some of the most entertaining games yet. Liverpool and Manchester City are arguably the two best teams in the world at the moment, with just one point separating them in the race for the Premier League Title.

A nail-biting 2-2 draw between the two on April 10 was succeeded by Liverpool’s slim 3-2 win in the FA Cup semi-final the following weekend, securing their spot in the final of the competition. In the Champions League, Liverpool will face Villareal while Man City will battle Real Madrid this week, vying for a spot in the final where the two English teams could meet once again.

With so much on the line for both teams, the clash of the two should be emotional and ferociously competitive, but it is quite the opposite. Two of the most technically astute managers in the game, Pep Guadiola and Jurgen Klopp, have done an amazing job with these teams, and their quality shows through the players and the mutual respect that these teams have for each other.

The two managers had nothing but kind words to say about each other after the two teams faced off in early April, even exchanging a joyous embrace after the game. As for the players, they all face the pressure of winning silverware for their clubs, but they too relish in the pure quality that the rivalry possesses. It is one defined by two teams in their prime, with each matchup on the field creating a scintillating performance of the top talents in all of Europe.

These thrilling contests go against the typical stereotype of English soccer, known for being a very physical and almost “dirty” league, with not as much technicality and care for the beauty of soccer. This is reflected in how the teams feel about each other, which has been a source of criticism for some and a source of pride for others.

Jamie Carragher, a legendary former Liverpool defender turned commentator, gave his opinion on the two teams. “It is the greatest, most intense and highest quality rivalry in English football history,” said Carragher.

Meanwhile, some fans are left disappointed at the lack of emotion between the sides, claiming that the games aren’t entertaining because they aren’t as dramatic as past rivalries have been.

To me, what they lack in drama, they make up for in their actual soccer performances, with most of their games being neck-and-neck, action-packed, and leaving fans wanting more after the 90 minutes are over.

Liverpool stands out with their exceptional attacking force made up of the league’s top scorer Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mané and new star signing Luis Diaz. However, wingbacks Andrew Roberston and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the true weapons of the team, ranking second and third respectively for assists in the league. Along with Virgil van Dijk’s wall-like defensive strength and their exceptional goalkeeper Alisson Becker, they are virtually unstoppable.

Manchester City hasn’t had as much star power up front, but they make up for it with their pure class in the midfield. Kevin de Bruyne, aka “The Ginger Pele,” has been their best playmaker this season and proved to be the missing piece in the 3-2 loss to Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend when he was sidelined with an injury. His passing is exceptional, and he is widely regarded as the best midfielder in the world.

For almost five years, these two teams have consistently fought for the highest awards in Europe, pushing each other to be at their best and elevating the level of the entire league. This year will be no different as both teams will fight down to the last second to make their club proud. So sit back, relax and turn your attention overseas as these two British teams produce one of the most exciting title races in history.