Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Premier League view backs Pep Guardiola’s exploits over Jurgen Klopp’s

Southampton will have a say in this season’s Premier League title race and could yet crown Manchester City as champions on Tuesday night.

The Saints host Liverpool, who currently face a four-point deficit to Pep Guardiola’s side with two games remaining. Victory on the south coast would cut the gap to one point ahead of the final day of the season, but Liverpool did come unstuck in this fixture last term, losing 1-0 to a Danny Ings goal.

Southampton have twice taken points off City this term, securing a goalless draw at the Etihad before holding the champions 1-1 at St Mary’s in January. Liverpool beat the Saints at Anfield back in November and will need to win on Tuesday to stay in the title fight and keep their quadruple hopes alive.

Ralph Hasenhuttl is the man trying to mastermind a win over the Reds, who have only lost twice in the league this term. Jurgen Klopp is currently preparing for three games in less than a fortnight, culminating with the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28.

The German has claimed one Premier League title and one Champions League title during his tenure. He’s seen Pep Guardiola win three leagues, which could soon become four, whilst Europe’s top prize has continued to elude him. Hasenhuttl though believes City’s domestic dominance tops any continental triumph.

“This is still the title that’s the most countable for everybody because it’s the hardest to get,” he said. “For me it’s even harder to be over 38 games in the Premier League consistently on the top, than to win the Champions League sometimes.”

Pep’s thoughts

Guardiola’s failure to capture the Champions League is often used as a stick to beat him. His latest setback came in Madrid as Los Blancos produced a late show to see off the English side. Guardiola also missed out on the Champions League during his Bayern Munich days.






Ralph Hasenhuttl has made his feelings clear


Ralph Hasenhuttl has made his feelings clear
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Getty Images)

Back in 2018 City were on course to claim their first Premier League under the Catalan, but they’d come unstuck in Europe at the hands of Liverpool. However, Guardiola made his views clear. Whilst the Champions League carried more prestige, the domestic title was far more challenging according to him.

He said: “They don’t understand absolutely anything about football. The Champions League is seven games, you can win the Champions League but the league is every three days in the same month. I’m sorry but it’s much more important what these guys have done the whole season.”

Guardiola’s side have registered a minimum over 86 points in their three title winning years and have done so once again this season. City’s frustrations in Europe have been amplified by Liverpool’s 2019 success, which could be added to this season. Reds right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was keen to point out his side’s exploits despite their trophy count being topped by City’s.






Man City have failed to win the Champions League under Pep Guardiola


Man City have failed to win the Champions League under Pep Guardiola
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REUTERS)

He said this season: “Not making any digs, but you look at Man City’s amazing team and they haven’t been able to lift the Champions League. They won a couple of Prems but haven’t been able to win the Champions League. We’ve won both over the last few years and it shows you we can do it in both competitions.”

Is the Premier League tougher?

Those in Manchester will say yes, those in Liverpool will say no. Jamie Carragher said on Sky Sports : “For me, the Champions League is always the biggest trophy you can win.” He then added: “How many leagues are there in Europe? 30 or 40. The big five leagues say, so five teams will win the league, but only one can win the Champions League.”






Liverpool claimed European glory in 2019


Liverpool claimed European glory in 2019
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AFP/Getty Images)

The demands of the respective competitions often see clubs make a choice on which one they will target. That is backed up by the fact six of the last ten winners didn’t top their league the year they were crowned champions of Europe.

Liverpool are among those, finishing second in 2019. That year they only lost once in the Premier League, yet still didn’t amass enough points to topple City. Meanwhile in Europe they lost four of their 13 games and still claimed victory in the final.

Real Madrid enjoyed a period of four wins in five years, but on only one occasion did they win LaLiga. On the other three occasions they were beaten by Atletico Madrid or Barcelona. Chelsea, the current holders, have won two Champions League in the space of a decade. Their first triumph in 2012 saw them finish sixth in the Premier League. Last term, when they beat Manchester City in the final they finished fourth.

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