Pep Leanders calls for more respect in the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City

Liverpool assistant coach Pep Leanders welcomed attempts to improve relations with Manchester City, and agreed that there is a responsibility for the coaching staff of both clubs to act.

City and Liverpool, who meet in the Carabao Cup round of 16 on Thursday, issued a joint statement this week calling for an end to the “unacceptable behavior” that has marred matches between the pair in recent years and promising to ban fans who comply. they. Their most recent meeting, Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Anfield in October, saw coins thrown at Pep Guardiola, City fans chanted and graffiti regarding the Hillsborough and Hassel disasters, and Jurgen Klopp was falsely accused of “borderline xenophobia” in Anonymous. Post-match briefing.

City also claimed their coach was attacked outside Anfield, as was the case before their Champions League match in 2018. Both clubs have subsequently worked with fan groups on initiatives to improve the atmosphere around the match and Leanders says there needs to be more. Respect in the dominant competition in the Premier League.

Liverpool’s assistant coach said: “It’s very positive that both clubs are getting together. Ferran and Pele [Soriano and Hogan, the respective chief executives of City and Liverpool] Made a good statement.

“I worked at Porto for seven years and at Eindhoven for five years and the rivalry between PSV, Feyenoord and Ajax was on a different level. The rivalry between Porto, Benfica and Sporting was on a different level. The only reason for the rivalry is because games are important, games are decisive. Tomorrow is crucial, but playing Against City is of such importance.

“With rivalry comes emotion and that’s good because we need feelings from the stands, we need emotion for our players. The only problem with emotion is when there’s no respect, then it gets really harmful and that can’t happen. It happened, but it’s positive that both clubs cooperate.”

Klopp was sent off for attacking the assistant referee in the last minutes of the October match, and was subjected to a one-match ban on the touchline, while Guardiola expressed his anger at the fourth referee after City was denied a penalty kick. Asked if the onus was on the coaches, Leanders said: “Of course. The best sport is emotion, it has facets. The top sport sees the line you want to cross but you hold your own.”

“For us, it’s impossible to be completely emotional because the game is too fast for that. The people who control their emotions are always the ones who go above and beyond. Control your emotions, don’t let emotions control you. We are an example of that in our team.”

Liverpool have most of their World Cup squad available for the match – only Ibrahima Konate was absent from Sunday’s final with France – but Leanders said youngsters such as Ben Doak, Bobby Clarke and Stefan Bagcetic would feature.

“The situation is different for players returning from the World Cup,” he said. “But we still believe we need to give our talents chances against big competitors, go through the difficulties and struggle a bit, and only then can you improve.”

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