Man City stoke Liverpool feud as dressing-room chat comes to light

Klopp on impressive defence against Man City

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Manchester City star Manuel Akanji has revealed that he felt the atmosphere at Anfield last weekend fell well below his expectation at some points. The defender spoke with team-mates about the Liverpool home ground and questioned why the club have such a reputation when it comes to their fans.

The rivalry between City and Liverpool appears to be growing with every fixture that the clubs meet, though neither side appears willing to admit that at this stage. The Reds came out on top against the Etihad Stadium last weekend, with Mohamed Salah scoring the all-important goal in a 1-0 victory.

The match was feisty throughout, with Pep Guardiola revealing at full-time that he was targeted with coins and other objects as he looked to leave the dugout. But the atmosphere before the match stunned Akanji, who was surprised at how ‘quiet’ the stadium was when he went about his pre-game routine.

He told Sportsmail: “Before the game, when we walked into the stadium for our warm-up, it was so quiet. No booing or anything. I told Erling [Haaland] I thought it was weird. I expected it would be really crowded and the mood against us. But I felt nothing at all.

“We came back in before the game and I talked to Riyad Mahrez as well. He was sitting right next to me. I was like, ‘Is it always like this here? Everybody talks so highly of Anfield and I don’t really see it’.

“He just told me to wait until the game started and then when it did I was like a different atmosphere completely. Particularly in the second half when our goal was disallowed and they scored. It was really, really loud then.”

After the match, Liverpool released a statement revealing that their fans had been subject to ‘vile chants’ from City fans and that they would work with the relevant authorities to take action against those involved. Commenting on that news earlier this week, Guardiola said: “I didn’t hear the chant. If it happened, I’m so sorry.

“It doesn’t represent what we are as a team and a club – if this happened. But don’t worry, we can behave perfectly [after] our mistakes, without a problem.” The former Barcelona boss did, however, deny that he felt the relationship between the clubs was becoming more toxic despite a number of unsavoury incidents on and off the pitch recently.

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