Pep Guardiola has declared Liverpool “the strongest opponents I have faced in my career as a manager” after Manchester City shipped an early lead in this season’s title race.
City are pursuing a third consecutive Premier League crown but a shock 3-2 loss at Norwich City last weekend – their first top-flight loss since January – left them five points shy of Jurgen Klopp’s men, who have won five out of five in 2019-20.
As the two sides engaged in a titanic battle last season, City eventually prevailing on 98 points to Liverpool’s 97, Guardiola said the Reds ranked alongside the Barcelona side of 2014-15 and their forward line of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar when it came to considering his strongest foes.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s home game versus Watford, the former Barca and Bayern Munich boss stated Klopp’s Liverpool were now out on their own.
“You have to understand what we have done in the past does not ensure you can do it tomorrow or the day after,” Guardiola said.
“The opponents we have, I’ve said many times, are the strongest opponents I have faced in my career as a manager – Liverpool.
“These are not weak words. I said it when they were in front, I said it when we were in front; when we won and we lose.”