'We shouldn't need police to protect the bus' – Guardiola on Anfield return

manchester city bus on it's way to Anfield

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says they “shouldn’t need the police to protect the bus” on their first return to Anfield since April’s hostile Champions League tie against Liverpool.

On that occasion, the City bus was pelted with objects as it arrived at the stadium before a 3-0 defeat.

“It is something for Liverpool, not me,” said Guardiola when asked about a possible repeat on Sunday.

“The best way to protect the bus is for Liverpool fans to go into the stadium.”

City are planning to use a different route this time, and have reportedly fitted their bus with 15 outward-facing cameras to capture any aggressive behaviour.

Coach Manuel Estiarte filmed the approach to Anfield in April, posting the footage – complete with the sound of objects hitting the bus – on social media.

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A window was smashed and thousands of pounds of damage caused.

In September, Merseyside Police said no arrests had been made over the incident.

Some City fans have considered arriving on Merseyside early to line the route to the stadium in an attempt to prevent any repeat.

But Guardiola insists it should not be necessary.

“Why do our fans have to protect our bus? Are you kidding me? We shouldn’t need the police to protect the bus,” said the Spaniard.

City finished 25 points clear of Liverpool in the Premier League last season, but succumbed to a 5-1 aggregate defeat in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Premier League

One of only two league defeats suffered by Guardiola’s side in their title-winning campaign also came at Anfield, when they lost 4-3 in January.

The two are level on points at the top of the table this season, with City ahead courtesy of goal difference.

“They have a lot of weapons to attack you,” said Guardiola.

“They are masters at taking advantage of your mistakes. They are a top side and a good contender. They deserve all the credit they get.”

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BBC Sport – Football

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