With Liverpool admirably battling back from an at one stage 14 point deficit to take the 2021/22 Premier League title race right down to the wire with Manchester City, it needed the final ten minutes of action to finally separate Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola’s sides, with the latter eventually winning out as they fought back from two goals behind in the game against Aston Villa to secure this years title by a single point.
For Liverpool, this is not the time to dwell on the obvious disappointment the team, and the fans will feel, from running the expensively assembled City squad right to the end of the campaign and then missing out by a single goal, as their full focus needs to be on their preparation for this coming Saturday’s Champions League Final against Real Madrid at the Stade de France.
With former England winger Steve McManaman knowing both clubs well from his time with each of them, he has conducted a couple of good interviews with Betway this week, explaining his memory of the competition and his own experiences in major show piece finals.
The media have certainly latched to the history between both sides here, with Liverpool losing out four years ago against the same opponents, but Liverpool also have a history with new manager Carlo Ancelotti given their clashes against AC Milan and Roma in previous years.
Both Egyptian wizard Mohamed Salah and Ancelotti himself have acknowledged that there might be a bit of needle between the sides given the history. Salah said ahead of Madrid’s semi final clash:
“I want to play Madrid, I have to be honest. City are a really tough team, we played against them a few times this season. I think personally, I would prefer Madrid. We lost in the final to them so I want to play against them and hopefully win it.”
Adding after Real were confirmed as Final opponents:
“We have a score to settle.”
When asked about his words, Ancelotti answered.
“We have met many times. Losing with them was a tragedy with Roma in 1984 and 2005. Then the revenge, which Salah says, in 2007. I respect him a lot. One of the best experiences of my career is seeing the push Bernabeu or Anfield. In addition to the beautiful experience of being rivals with Everton. I like their history, that of Paisley, they have six Champions Leagues, only one less than Milan…that’s an extra motivation too. My Milanist friends tell me don’t let them reach seven.”
With mind games afoot, Klopp took a different approach when he met with press on Wednesday afternoon, rubbishing suggestions that revenge for 2018 would be a driver for his side.
“This was a harsh night for us – it was tough to take. But I don’t believe in revenge or think revenge is a fantastic idea. I understand what Mo said – he wants to put it right. But in Germany we say you always meet twice in life. If we get the chance to win it this time it will be a great story, but it will not be because of what happened in 2018.”
Whatever now happens, the stage is set for the Final to be quite the spectacle with the calibre of players that will be on show, and each side has players that are more than capable of winning it – so the neutrals should be in for a fantastic affair.
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