Pep Guardiola has explained that it’s hard to tone down his actions on the touchline when involved in massive games like Manchester City against Liverpool.
The 51-year-old was an active figure in the dugout during City’s defeat to the Reds at Anfield in October while Jurgen Klopp was sent off during the final moments of the game after he confronted the linesman for not spotting a clear foul on Mo Salah.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has explained emotion is something that makes the game what it is – as long as there’s respect for the officials.
“People cannot behave like they’re marble, like ice cold, when you’re disallowed a goal in these type of games against the biggest opponents,” the Spaniard explained (via RTE).
“We will always react in that way but respect for the officials, the rules and the opponent is always there from my point of view, and my teams, absolutely.
“Reactions happen, that’s why the referees are there, to react and do what they believe is correct.”
Guardiola, who claimed he was targeted by objects thrown from Reds fans at Anfield earlier this season, joked that it’s his ‘dream’ to be sent off against the FA Cup champions.
“I wasn’t sent off. That’s in my dream against Liverpool, sooner or later it’s going to happen,”he added.
“No, of course we want to behave good, come on – the players, the managers, the spectators – but sometimes emotions and many things happen.”
A joint statement was released by both Liverpool and City for their supporters ahead of tonight’s clash in order to warn fans of their behaviour both inside and outside the ground – something that the Spanish tactician also commented on.
“The clubs try to create a good environment, it’s a football game. Try to create the emotions we are seeing in the World Cup, in Argentina right now in the streets,” he said.
“You see that, it’s amazing, we want to try. Everything we can build step by step with the clubs, the press conferences with the managers, players and so on.
“It’s just a game, let’s make people happy, that’s what we try to do.”
Let’s hope our discussions after the game are about the action on the pitch, rather than anything that happens off it.
We look set for an intriguing encounter with both sides returning to domestic action for the first time since the World Cup.