Pep Guardiola hailed Jurgen Klopp’s “exceptional ” achievements as the Liverpool boss comes under increasing pressure amid their slump in form.
Klopp conceded the title following Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Leicester City on Saturday, admitting that the gap to Guardiola’s Manchester City – which stands at 13 points ahead of City’s game in hand with Everton on Wednesday – was too much for the defending champions to make up.
The Reds, who face RB Leipzig in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday, are in danger of missing out on playing in that competition next season.
Liverpool’s loss at the King Power Stadium was their third successive defeat in the Premier League and they sit sixth in the table, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and fifth-placed West Ham.
However, Guardiola praised Liverpool’s display at Leicester, where they took the lead before Brendan Rodgers’ side scored three times in the space of seven minutes, and was extremely complimentary of his managerial rival when asked if he had empathy for Klopp.
“A lot,” he replied at a pre-match media conference. “What he’s done is exceptional.
“I said many times now and previously in Germany, he makes football attractive for all spectators, wants to give joy to fans, attacking football and no doubts about it.
“We have good and bad moments, no manager can sustain season after season, winning and winning, it would be boring.
3 – Liverpool have lost three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2014, when managed by current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers. Regressed. pic.twitter.com/EKJu9rHM0y
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2021
“Sometimes you have to lose, to realise. I speak personally, sometimes it’s good to lose, you realise how difficult it is.
“When you come back you get more credit and value for what you’ve done.”
City can go 10 points clear at the top with a win over Everton, having won their last 16 games in all competitions and their last 11 in the league.
“We never get perfection, what we’ve done, the 16 games in a row, 11 in the Premier League, is thinking the next game, this is the only secret,” added Guardiola.
“All games left to play, a lot can happen. All I think is Everton. We are in mid-February, a lot of points [to play for], we’ll drop points and that’s the moment I expect to see the reaction of all of us.”