Football: Jürgen Klopp-Pep Guardiola English Premier League rivalry ends on a high with Liverpool, Manchester City draw

The curtain has come down on one of the greatest English Premier League managerial rivalries as Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola hugged heartily after Liverpool and Manchester City played out a 1-1 draw at Anfield. 

The result leaves the three-way title race between Liverpool, City and Arsenal wide open and is further proof of the football philosophy that unites two men who have stamped their trademark all over their respective clubs.  

Klopp will walk away at the end of the season after a glittering near decade-long reign on Merseyside that has seen Liverpool scoop every major prize and go head-to-head with Guardiola's City in several epic title races.  

This was the 16th Premier League clash between the pair and it felt somehow appropriate that when the fulltime whistle sounded on a glorious advert for the English top flight, there was nothing to separate them.  

Former Spain midfielder Guardiola has enjoyed mastery over just about every coach in world football since making his name in charge of Barcelona, but will end his Premier League series with Klopp with five wins, four defeats and seven draws.  

While similar rivalries involving the likes of Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho were often laced with bad blood – the warmth with which Klopp and Guardiola embraced on Sunday spoke volumes for the respect they share.  

"He will be back! He loves the job too much," Guardiola told the BBC. "What can I say? He made us a better team, he made me a better manager. I wish he will be back soon, because football needs personalities like him.  

"A lot of credit to Liverpool. They proved again what they have done is unbelievable for this rivalry."  

Klopp was coy when asked what they had said to each other after the final whistle but said that when the dust has settled on their respective careers, they are likely to become friends.

Luis Diaz of Liverpool and Kyle Walker of Manchester City in action.
Luis Diaz of Liverpool and Kyle Walker of Manchester City in action. Photo credit: Getty Images

 "First of all, it's private, even when it's in a football stadium... that we both respect each other a lot and probably after the career we will become somehow friends," Klopp said.  

"He's a golfer, I'm not a golfer, I play padel, but he's Spanish, he might play padel. So who knows?  

"There will be something, if we meet we will have great talks about sensational football games, incredible stuff... it's really obvious as well the respect is a lot, by the words we speak to each other."  

While Sunday's clash was the last time Klopp and Guardiola will face off for English Premier League points, as far as this year's title race is concerned it merely made things even more interesting with Arsenal ahead of Liverpool on goal difference and City one point back. All three have 10 games left.  

"After this game nobody should open the champagne bottles because there's still a long way to go but if you can play football like this against Manchester City it's a statement and I love that," Klopp said.