Liverpool’s Premier League-winning players received a guard of honour from their Manchester City counterparts on Thursday evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s men, who were crowned champions of England seven days beforehand, were applauded by City’s stars ahead of their clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Jordan Henderson proudly led his teammates out at City’s home ground, as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and, yes, Raheem Sterling all paid tribute to the newly-crowned champions.
City have been the recipients of a guard of honour on several occasions in recent years, and Pep Guardiola confirmed his players would give Liverpool one while speaking to reporters last week.
“We are going to do the guard of honour of course,” Guardiola was quoted saying by BBC Sport. “We will greet Liverpool, when they come to our house, in an incredible way. We are going to do it because they deserve it.”
So, here’s the moment Liverpool received their guard of honour…
A proud moment for every one of those Liverpool players – and a bitter pill to swallow for all of City’s.
Liverpool fans were particularly eager to see Sterling applauding for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, Sterling left Liverpool for City in the summer of 2015 in order to boost his chances of winning silverware. Many supporters still haven’t forgiven him.
And secondly, Sterling was involved in a bust-up with Joe Gomez while on international duty with England last November.
The pair had clashed during Liverpool’s win over City the previous day when Sterling attempted to grab Gomez by the neck at St George’s Park.
He was subsequently axed from England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.
Gomez, for this season at least, has certainly ended up having the last laugh.
Before Thursday night’s fixture, Liverpool boasted a massive 23-point lead over second-placed City at the top of the table.
The Merseyside outfit had won 28 of their 31 league games and will be remembered as one of the best teams in Premier League history, regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season.
But City will be back even stronger next season, and so will the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
Can Liverpool prove they’re a truly great side by retaining the title next season? That’s now the big question.
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