Former Liverpool scout and coach Alex Miller looks back over past Pep Guardiola games, how The Reds set up against him, and what they’ll do Sunday.

John Gibbons hosts this Alex Miller special podcast.

As Manchester City are a recent force there are no notable games against them to talk about from that time, but Liverpool did beat Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2001. Alex and John have a chat about that first and then move on to the present day…

Barcelona 0 Liverpool 0 – Thursday April 5, 2001

Liverpool: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Murphy, Hamann, Gerrard, Berger, Heskey, Owen
Barcelona: Pepe Reina, Gabri, Puyol, Frank De Boer, Sergi, Luis Enrique, Guardiola, Overmars, Kluivert, Rivaldo

  • All about holding our shape?
  • Notable watching it back where they are taking shots from. Must have pleased you.
  • Also the shots they do take are rushed. As a result, many missed the target.
  • What you are asking for from our strikers in these games. What are you asking from Heskey and Owen.
  • Rivaldo had been World Footballer of the Year in 1999. Do you have to make special plans for a player like that?
  • What you made of Pep Guardiola at this point. Obviously it is hard to spot the managers at this point, but can you see the intelligence?
  • We went through that whole tournament unbeaten at home. An incredible achievement considering the teams faced.
  • What it is like to do your work in front of 90,000 people.

Liverpool 1 Barcelona 0 – Thursday April 19, 2001

Liverpool: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Gerrard, Hamann, McAllister, Smicer, Heskey, Owen
Barcelona: Reina, Reiziger, de Boer, Puyol, Cocu, Petit, Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Overmars, Rivaldo, Kluivert

  • How to approach this. How much fear of the away goal.
  • The penalty and approach after that. Does it change? Does half time help?
  • Felt fairly secure apart from a Westerveld air kick! How hard is it when a mistake can dictate or change everything?
  • Liverpool use all three subs in both ties. What are the pros and cons of this? It is notable now in big games Klopp doesn’t do this if it’s going well. Fresh legs v being in the rhythm of a game.

A few of our team go on to manage as well. Most notably Babbel and Steven Gerrard. Gerrard has a very good record for Rangers in Europe. How much do you think he took from those triumphs and team performances under Houllier and Benitez.

Liverpool v Manchester City – In The Present Day

  • How do you think Pep Guardiola has changed English Football and football in general?
  • How they played against Chelsea last week. On and off the ball with the press so impressive. Following up an equally impressive away win at Leicester.
  • How they don’t concede chances by keeping the ball away from dangerous areas. How we combat this.
  • What Grealish has added to them. How you cope with multiple threats from multiple places (so for Villa you could double team him but for City you can’t).
  • Not knowing who City will pick and the issues behind that. Pep tends to rotate and plenty of quality to come in and out.
  • Liverpool may need to be patient as you needed to be against Barcelona in 2001. Switching from the team used to having the ball to the team having less of it.
  • Respecting the opposition versus allowing them to play too much. Chelsea almost conceded the tempo.
  • Might they approach this game differently after Chelsea? A draw a good result for Manchester City.
  • Their use of Jesus as a non-traditional number nine.
  • Using the crowd to your advantage.

Below is a clip from the show – subscribe to listen to Alex Miller on Liverpool v Manchester City in full…

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