Pep Guardiola has issued an apology for the vile chants from a section of Manchester City fans at Liverpool last Sunday, but denied that the fixture has become toxic.
Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 at Anfield to hand Guardiola’s men their first defeat of the season, but the game was marred by the behaviour of fans from both clubs.
Sections of the Man City support were found to have mocked the Heysel and Hillsborough disasters with sickening chants aimed at Liverpool fans, whilst the Anfield Road stand concourse was targeted with similar-themed graffiti from away fans.
Meanwhile, Merseyside Police confirmed they received a report of criminal damage after the Man City team bus was allegedly attacked as they departed Anfield after the game.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was sent to the stands during the high-octane encounter, while Guardiola had coins thrown from the home crowd.
Asked if the fixture was now toxic between the two rivals, Guardiola told reporters in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League against Brighton: “I don’t think so, from our side, I’m pretty sure of that.
“I didn’t hear the chants. If it happened, I’m so sorry [to Liverpool], it doesn’t represent what we are as a team or a club if this happens.”
Following last Sunday’s ill-tempered clash, Liverpool released a statement condemning the chants heard from sections of the away support.
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A Liverpool FC statement wrote: “We are deeply disappointed to hear vile chants relating to football stadium tragedies from the away section during today’s game at Anfield. The concourse in the away section was also vandalised with graffiti of a similar nature.”
City privately addressed the chants from their fans which is believed to have angered Liverpool who could not understand why it wasn’t done publicly.
Whereas City chiefs were furious with Liverpool over comments made by boss Jurgen Klopp about Manchester City’s spending that they deemed inaccurate and ‘borderline xenophobic’ in the lead up to the game.
Klopp, however, says he was misunderstood and it has since been reported Liverpool have lodged a legal complaint in response to City’s claims.
All eyes will be on the next clash between the duo when Liverpool travel to the Etihad Stadium on April 1.
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