Guardiola and Klopp’s antithesis remains intriguing

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MANCHESTER — Watching Manchester City vs. Liverpool was like listening to Pavarotti and Kiss. At the same time.

Fluid, patient, possession-based soccer vs. direct, pacey, thunderous soccer. Man City vs. Liverpool. Pep Guardiola vs. Jurgen Klopp.

Guardiola and Klopp, two of the most talented managers on the planet, are the antithesis of one another.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Before Saturday’s game defending seemed optional, as it always has done, for both of these managers. However, despite their clear attacking philosophies they both have vastly different ways to attack and, most importantly for them both, entertain.

Saturday’s meeting at the Etihad didn’t disappoint with goals but it certainly wasn’t the finely poised, end-to-end encounter we expected.

Guardiola’s men beat the 10-men of Liverpool 5-0 after Sadio Mane‘s red card in the first half helped swing the game in City’s favor.

In the 11 games they’ve managed against one another their record now reads five wins each and one draw. Stalemate. Yes, Klopp suffered his worst defeat as Liverpool boss on Saturday but Guardiola took little comfort in inflicting a painful defeat.

Stood on the edge of their respective boxes during the sunshine and showers at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, their intensity is similar. That said, they celebrated and despised completely different things on the sidelines.

Pep, dressed like a waiter at a beach club in white sneakers and a blue sweater, knelt down and held his head in disbelief when possession was given away cheaply early on as he waved his team wide like a composed conductor. Klopp, in his bright red trainers and black tracksuit, winced in agony when his team missed the chance to clip a long ball over the top.

The way they act on the sidelines vastly differs, with Jurgen Klopp joking with Man City fans as they complained Sadio Mane had taken a dive to win a free kick. He responded by taking off his glasses and offering them to said fan. Meanwhile Guardiola was more serious, arms folded and ushering over his players for a stern chat when he could, even as the goals poured in.

Even after the crushing defeat the respect remained. Guardiola didn’t rub further salt into Klopp’s wounds.

“It was one game at 11v11, it was equal, we both had chances, but the game was equal. Liverpool are so quick and fast,” Guardiola said. “After 10v11 it was a little bit easier for us, and we played the second half the way we wanted to. They didn’t do well. The game was open until the sending-off.”

Klopp seemed to agree with Guardiola. Finally, something similar.

“We had all we needed at 11v11. We had chances. The first goal is unnecessary, we were too laid back, not too smart. But the decisive decision in the whole game was the red card. I don’t think it was a red card, Sadio didn’t see the goalkeeper,” Klopp said. “It’s unlucky, an accident. The keeper comes out. You want to go for the ball. I hope people see it for what it is.”

What we can see is that neither has the “right way” to manage a team or situations but both are revered.

In an age where teams often play 4-3-3 and bunker in as a 4-5-1 for most of the game before launching counters when they can, Liverpool and Man City offer something totally different. They take risks, but in different ways.

“Both teams were not compact enough,” Klopp said. “We cannot have these situations [attacking] if City would have defended perfectly. You can defend not perfectly and still win 5-0. We were not compact enough.”

Yes, the spectacle took a hit on Saturday following Mane’s red card but Guardiola and Klopp are delivering on their promises and their flaws remain the same.

At heart they are both entertainers and that’s why they don’t only respect one another but are also revered around the world for their approach. They may not always be perfect but they are true to their vastly contrasting philosophies.

Seeing it all play out on one pitch is, like Klopp and Guardiola, both manic and beautiful. At the same time.

Burnley 1-0 Stoke City: Barnes’ late strike guides Clarets into top four

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Don’t look now, but the Clarets have climbed into the Premier League top four.

Burnley found a way Stoke City late on Tuesday, picking up a 1-0 win at the Turf Moor behind Ashley Barnes‘ late finish.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final, awaits Real Madrid or Al Jazira ]

The Clarets, who have now secured 31 points over their first 17 matches this season, leapfrogged Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham with the victory. However, all three sides will be in action on Wednesday.

Steven Defour nearly put Burnley ahead on 69 minutes, when the front man tested Stoke keeper Jack Butland — who had to make a sprawling save to his right.

While Stoke mustered up several quality chances, it was Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s blast in the first half that nearly found the top left corner.

Next up for Burnley will be a date against Brighton on Saturday, while Stoke travels to Huddersfield the same day.

Club World Cup wrap: Gremio reaches final, Urawa takes fifth place

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One half of this year’s FIFA Club World Cup final was decided on Tuesday as Brazilian side Gremio topped Liga MX champions Pachuca.

Second-half substitute Everton proved to be the difference for the Brazilians, with the attacker scoring in extra time to lift Gremio.

[ MORE: LA FC selects Urena, four others in MLS Expansion Draft ]

Pachuca’s chances of completing a comeback were extinguished with 10 minutes remaining in extra time, as Víctor Guzman was sent off upon picking up his second yellow card of the semifinal.

Meanwhile, Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds captured fifth place in the tournament after narrowly topping Wydad Casablanca, 3-2.

Despite going behind early, Urawa responded almost immediately in the first half, before building its lead to 3-1 at the hour mark.

A late penalty kick from Reda Hajhouj gave Casablanca a glimmer of hope in the dying moments, however, the Moroccan-based club couldn’t find a way to equalize.

Gremio will await either La Liga giants Real Madrid or Al Jazira in the Club World Cup final, which will be played on Saturday. The loser of that match will take on Pachuca in the third-place game.

Below are the scores from Tuesday’s FIFA Club World Cup matches.

Gremio 1-0 Pachuca (after extra time)

Wydad Casablanca 2-3 Urawa Red Diamonds — Fifth-place match

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

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Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]