Man City vs Liverpool: Pep Guardiola confirms guard of honour for champions

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Pep Guardiola
Image: Pep Guardiola says Liverpool deserve their guard of honour from Man City

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will form a guard of honour for new Premier League champions Liverpool when the sides meet on Thursday.

Liverpool took the Premier League crown City have worn for the last two years when they ended their own 30-year quest for a league title last Thursday, after Guardiola's side were beaten at Stamford Bridge.

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When football resumed after lockdown earlier this month, Liverpool's upcoming trip to the Etihad Stadium had been earmarked as the potentially decisive game in the title race.

But City's loss at Chelsea put Liverpool mathematically out of reach and Guardiola feels it would be sporting to pay tribute to Jurgen Klopp's side.

Liverpool have won the 2019-20 Premier League 2:14
Liverpool have been crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years

"Of course we are going to do it," said Guardiola. "We are going to do the guard of honour, of course.

"Always we receive Liverpool when they come to our house in an incredible way. They cannot complain and, of course, we are going to do it because they deserve it."

Pep: City desire just as strong

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After missing out to City by a point last season, European champions Liverpool have been dominant this term, securing the title with a record seven games to spare, winning 28 of 31 matches. They will travel to Manchester with a 23-point advantage over second-placed City.

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It has been suggested City's hunger or passion may have dipped following last year's treble success but Guardiola insists that is not true.

He said: "A team that wins eight titles (trophies) in the last three years have passion, in every single game, in every competition, everywhere. No one in this country can say that.

Liverpool celebrate the 4-0 rout that outs them on the brink of glory
Image: Liverpool have won 28 of their 31 Premier League matches this season

"It is so difficult to do what we have done in the most difficult league in the world but you cannot win all the time.

"There was one team that was exceptional and, when one team is exceptional, I say learn from them and congratulate them. It is simple. This team's passion and desire, it is going and going and going again."

Pep targeting FA Cup semis

Pep Guardiola's current contract at Manchester City expires in June 2021 0:35
Pep Guardiola congratulated Liverpool on winning the Premier League title, but says Manchester City can be proud after winning eight of last 10 domestic trophies

City still have much to play for, including the Champions League, which will resume in August, and the FA Cup. They travel to Newcastle for their delayed quarter-final tie on Sunday.

Guardiola said: "Right now it is a priority because it is the next game and we can get Wembley again in the semi-final. I saw Newcastle and they have the weapons to punish us.

"The important thing is this game and after you can finish the Premier League as best as possible, finish second, and after that we have time to prepare for (Real) Madrid."

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