Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp insists that whoever wins the match between his team against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this weekend will not necessarily win the Premier League this season.
Klopp’s opinion is valid, but many pundits think that the match will determine who will be more likely to stay at the top of the table on the evening of 22 May when the 2021/22 Premier League is fully completed.
The gamble on the odds is clearly no trivial matter, considering it also relates to Liverpool’s “mission impossible” to become the first English team in history to finish off their season with a caturgelar.
Like a play, the caturgelar epic is a four-act script that takes place almost simultaneously on one stage and the Liverpool fans who were in the crowd applauded the loudest when their favorite actor was served as the main character in the first half by lifting the trophy English League Cup.
Enthusiasm wrapped in optimism also clearly inhabited Liverpool supporters in the Champions League round, where the Reds temporarily beat Benfica 3-1 thanks to a victory in the first leg of the quarter-finals.
Of course, the City fans also felt a similar atmosphere after watching their favorite team win a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid on a similar stage.
The victory of the two teams clearly makes the Manchester City vs Liverpool match at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (10/4) tomorrow a promising dish.
“If you win against City, which is already quite difficult, I think no one will think, ‘OK, everything is decided’ because of the quality of our opponents. We are going up against the best team in the world, that’s the truth and we will keep trying. said Klopp after facing Benfica.
“Yes, everyone understands the meaning of tomorrow’s game, but after that there are other games in different competitions and also in the Premier League itself, so if you can’t be in front you want to be second. If you fall behind, you want to come close. , you want to overtake. That’s the situation and, as I said, we will try it in earnest.”
That Klopp tried to avoid exaggerating the meaning of the match is not enough to deny that the result at the Etihad later could determine the course of the two teams’ seasons.
“My comment is that neither team has ever done that, how can we?” said Pep Guardiola on April 6 2019 after Manchester City at that time locked the ticket to the FA Cup final thanks to a 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Three days later City lost 0-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals, followed by the dramatic fate of the second leg results which closed with the VAR decision to annul Raheem Sterling’s goal forcing the Citizens to only win 4-3 and were eliminated due to the inferiority of away goals on aggregate 4 -4.
On April 17, 2019, Guardiola’s words were nothing short of unlucky for City who had to accept the fact that their first attempt at the caturge title was over. Of course the 2018/19 season didn’t end too badly, because City still managed to become the first team to wipe out the domestic competition title in England.
Two years later, on the exact same date, City once again found another attempt at caturgelars to fail. They lost 0-1 to Chelsea and stopped in the FA Cup semifinals.
On two occasions, City failed to win a caturgelar like most teams who have experienced similar opportunities. Guardiola failed, as did his predecessors Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.
Ferguson with Manchester United came close to doing so in 2008/09 before stopping in the FA Cup semi-finals on 19 April 2009 after being beaten on penalties by David Moyes’ Everton. Perhaps that moment prompted Ferguson to choose Moyes as “The Chosen One” to continue his throne at Old Trafford, something that could be a story in itself another day.
Mourinho, on the other hand, in his last full season in charge of Chelsea in 2006/07, was confirmed to have missed out on a caturgelar defeat by losing on penalties to Liverpool in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final on 1 May 2007.
The failure caused a domino effect because Chelsea also then didn’t win in the remaining three Premier League matches so they failed to win, then five months later Mourinho was sacked due to an inconclusive start to the season.
Now Klopp and his Liverpool are the main characters in the story of the hunt for the holy grail of caturgelar after winning the League Cup, being in second place in the Premier League standings just one point adrift of City, winning 3-1 over Benfica in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals, and meeting again City in the FA Cup semifinals later.
In fact, Klopp is Liverpool’s coach who has gone the furthest in defending caturge titles in history, after the longest run was 20 February 1983 before losing in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
“No, definitely not and never has that impression,” Klopp said in a special BT Sport interview that aired on April 4, 2022 when asked former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch about his team’s caturgical chances.
“I don’t think any team has ever won the caturge title. At least in England, and I don’t know if it’s happened in other countries. You can’t plan for it. The fixture list complicates things. If your team isn’t 20 points clear in the league… that talk is no longer relevant, and we, we have to give everything in every game, and that makes this very unlikely.”
Klopp somewhat missed that caturgelar achievements had occurred on the mainland of Great Britain when Jock Stein led Celtic to win the Scottish League, Scottish League Cup, Scottish Cup before completing it by becoming the first British team to win the Champions Cup with a victory over Inter Milan.
With all the developments that accompany football competition, both the level of competition in England and the mines of surprises and the European mentality, it is certainly not easy to realize caturgelars again, including for Klopp and Liverpool.
And it is not impossible that, in England, the caturgelar epic will forever be a four-act drama about the holy grail so close but so far away.