Plenty has been made of Man City fans and their atmosphere, and Pep Guardiola had to ask the stadium to generate more noise for one of the biggest games of the season.
The Etihad is not well known for being a cauldron of noise, and that proved the case on Saturday with Guardiola forced to make attempts to generate an atmosphere.
Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s shush celebration was ironic in some ways, with the crowd not generating a cacophony of sound one would expect for such an occasion.
Guardiola was left regularly getting out of his seat in the dug out and gesturing to the crowd, asking for more noise from the Man City fans, which did not trigger much of a response.
“It’s 12.30, we were still in the sheets. It’s 12.30, we were still sleeping a little bit,” Guardiola said after the 1-1 draw.
Pep Guardiola says he wanted 'some more noise' from the Manchester City supporters at the Etihad today ? pic.twitter.com/GAjFngg7GC
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 25, 2023
“Yeah, I would like noise. I like noise against Liverpool but okay, it didn’t happen. Do you know what I feel when it doesn’t happen? You have to play better.”
The City boss was tapping his ears throughout the match, looking at the stand behind the dugout and wagging his finger in response – and it is not the first time we have seen him do it.
The 12.30pm kick-off is far from ideal for players and fans alike, but as Guardiola pointed out, some fans were still in bed as the travelling Kop made their fair share of noise in the corner of the South Stand.
After all these years, we’re not sure it’s going to change. Sorry, Pep.
And you can bet your life savings that Klopp will not be left begging for the same reaction at Anfield when these two teams meet again in the league in early March.
Thankfully, that fixture does not immediately follow an international break, and if the Reds qualify for the Europa League round of 16, as they are on course to do, it will not be a 12.30pm Saturday kickoff as they will play on the preceding Thursday.