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.

Manchester United to seek out those who continue offensive Lukaku chant

Andrew Matthews/PA via AP
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Some Manchester United supporters persisting in singing a chant glorifying Romelu Lukaku which has been deemed racist by many for its depiction of the player’s penis size.

Lukaku was among those to ask that fans stop singing the song, as did the club, but it was heard from the away end at St. Mary’s during Manchester United’s 1-0 win on Saturday (where Lukaku scored the winner).

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s gorgeous free kick ]

United responded with vigor after the match, releasing a statement claiming it would request closed circuit footage of the fans in attempts to ban those singing the song based on The Stone Roses’ “Made of Stone.”

WATCH: Coutinho spins gorgeous free kick past Schmeichel

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Minutes after setting up Mohamed Salah for a back door header for a 1-0 lead at Leicestwer City, Liverpool wizard Philippe Coutinho tacked on a goal of his own.

WATCH LEICESTER-LIVERPOOL ONLINE, HERE

Coutinho scored a beauty in the 23rd minute, as the Brazilian lorded over a free kick before spinning a goal just off the top of the wall and past a flying Kasper Schmeichel.

It looked like it was headed for the upper 90 even had it not taking its tiny deviation. The kick was a masterful effort from Coutinho.

Everton’s comeback win puts Koeman “in a totally different world”

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A quiz for you. Oumar Niasse‘s two goals:

  • A) Saved Ronald Koeman‘s job
  • B) Led Everton’s come back win
  • C) All of the above

Koeman admitted “there were a lot of emotions” in Everton’s 2-1 home win over Bournemouth on Saturday, as the Toffees got off the mat to post their first Premier League win since Aug. 12.

[ RECAP: Everton 2-1 Bournemouth ]

After a summer of spending, the Toffees were expected to compete for another berth in a European competition. Instead, a murderer’s row of early fixtures had Everton very low on the PL table.

Was Koeman able to stay calm as his team struggled at home against Bottom Three side Bournemouth?

“Calm after the game, yes. There were a lot of emotions. It was a difficult game, we did not create many chances and we took the right decision after 1-0 down to try something different – play two strikers and go more direct.

“It is a totally different world after winning. You have key moments during the season and this was a big win that will give everyone a boost.”

Apollon Limassol is next for the Toffees, followed by matches against Burnley and Brighton.

Jose Mourinho responds to sending off, Man United win

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho saw his side battle to a 1-0 win away at Southampton on Saturday as they kept their unbeaten start to the Premier League season going.

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game after 20 minutes and although Saints had the better of the play in the second half, United’s defense held firm.

Towards the end of the game Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Craig Pawson for encroachment as he stepped onto the pitch during the action.

What happened?

“I don’t know, you have to ask the referee,” Mourinho said.

He then wasted more time by shaking the hands of every member of Southampton’s coaching staff before he briefly went into the stands before the final whistle was blown.

It remains to be seen if he will face a touchline ban or fine for his actions but speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho focused on the performance of his team.

“It is not always possible to operate at high quality but fought hard. We did what many teams in the Premier League do for 90 minutes, which was play with five defenders at the back. Credit to Southampton, they tried to play. Pellegrino changed the team and sent on another striker to play more direct.

“It was a hard game but I am really happy. Romelu Lukaku’s work is so important for us. He scored his goal and worked hard like everybody else. Nobody feels the pressure to play always attacking football because so many teams play always defensively. I felt some of the boys were not sharp. I didn’t feel like we could score three or four goals like we sometimes do so the option was to make sure we got the points.”