Liverpool’s visit to the Etihad Stadium became one of the Premier League’s biggest matches in years when Manchester City were held to a draw by Crystal Palace last month.
With only a point between them, thousands flocked to stadiums, pubs or to their sofa to watch the two best clubs in the world face off on Sunday.
After all the anticipation and build up, last weekend’s clash didn’t disappoint and provided us with the perfect advert for top flight football in England.
It showed exactly why these two teams have formed a rivalry so much more thrilling than many before them.
The likes of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho gifted us with so many exceptional ties, full of ferocity and intensity, but no rivalry can offer us the unpredictably that Man City and Liverpool can.
Every aspect of this match up is world class - Guardiola v Klopp, Manchester v Liverpool and some of the world’s biggest stars battling it out.
Last weekend’s draw was one of three times the two clubs could meet before the end of the season and each meeting is just as impossible to call as the previous.
Rather than rolling your eyes at the thought of playing a team twice in a row, I could quite easily sit down and watch them face off every single weekend - and you could guarantee the result would be completely different each time.
The anticipation and excitement surrounding the rivalry is like waiting for the long-awaited final episode of Game of Thrones - though the race for the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League could never be quite as disappointing.
In fact, once you reach the spectacle itself it’s not at all like Game of Thrones because we get to do it all again next season and the next... and so on.
Apart from we probably don’t.
The rivalry between Manchester City and Liverpool has taken the Premier League to another level and has made it all the more exciting - especially for a neutral. However, these two teams can’t possibly keep it up and there’s a number of reasons as to why this never ending dream for both fanbases will indeed come to an end.
Pep’s long awaited Champions League triumph
Pep Guardiola has won near enough everything on offer to him since he joined Man City in 2016.
In five years the Spaniard has three Premier League titles, an FA Cup, four League Cups and the Community Shield to his name.
His long list of accolades would be one that most managers could only dream of, but for him his time in England is missing one thing and that is the Champions League. It has become not a want, but a need, for Guardiola and if I was him I would be getting increasingly more frustrated.
The former Barcelona boss’ current contract expires in summer 2023 and he has previously said he will make a decision on his future at the end of the season.
Guardiola is currently in his longest spell with a club since becoming a manager, but could it come to an end if City don’t finally lift the Champions League trophy next month?
Whether they are to win the tournament before his contract expires or not, it would be surprising to see Guardiola not look for another challenge beyond 2023.
While City will still have some of the world’s greatest players, the importance of Guardiola to what they have built and achieved is clear and it would become incredibly difficult to replace one of two of the world’s best coaches.
Similarly, Jurgen Klopp’s deal at Anfield runs out in 2024 and he has previously admitted the plan is to leave once his contract expires, so even if Guardiola was to remain in England, he wouldn’t be up against the German for much longer.
It is unclear who would be brought into Merseyside, with Steven Gerrard long linked with a return, but can the Liverpool legend be expected to come in and pick up where Klopp left off?
Liverpool’s transfer policy won’t last
Gone are the days of the Reds over paying for the likes of Andy Carroll (£35m) and Christian Benteke (32.5m) - since Klopp’s arrival at Anfield they have adopted a policy of spending a lot less and turning ‘average’ players into real stars.
The Reds paid only £7 million for Andy Robertson, while they paid less than £70 million for Mo Salah and Sadio Mane - arguably one of the Premier League’s best attacking duos ever.
The Fenway Sports Group will be relieved that their tight spending has paid off under Klopp, and while their success is yet to come to an end, there are already signs that they are going to have to pull out their purses if it is to continue.
Fans were relieved by the late January signing of Luis Diaz after a long, nervy period with little money spent while all their rivals strengthened.
During a summer where the likes of Manchester United, City and Chelsea all splashed the cash, FSG refused to add to the squad and the arrival of Diaz suggested that maybe they had realised they would have to make some changes if Liverpool were to keep up.
While the Merseyside club have looked at their best for most of this season with three more trophies up for grabs, nine of Liverpool’s starting XI that faced City last weekend are nearing, or are already in, their 30s.
The signings brought in during the Klopp era have been exceptional, but FSG can’t remain so stubborn if they are to continue the legacy Klopp will leave once his emotional departure comes.
Of course this is all very hypothetical and we can hope that the rivalry and the elite quality of the two clubs lasts much longer than we think, but all we can do for now is enjoy what Klopp and Guardiola have gifted us... starting with this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium.