Liverpool will get an honor guard when they visit Manchester City at Etihad Stadium, living Sky Sports Premier League on July 2nd?
Last update: 26/06/20 13:50
Ahead of their first Premier League game as confirmed champions, Liverpool could receive an honor guard from Manchester City – but is it mandatory? Let’s take a look at tradition and take a look at some famous examples from the past.
What is an honor guard?
An honor guard is when a person or group of people line up to congratulate others on a result.
In essence, it is seen as a sign of respect, with the Premier League champions the usual recipients.
It is not mandatory for any club to provide an honor guard if they face newly crowned league champions, but it is a ceremony agreed between the two clubs in advance. You won’t find any mention of tradition in the Premier League regulations. Players may be reluctant to participate, but they cannot be forced to do so by any football authority.
Will Liverpool get an honor guard at Etihad?
There are no confirmations yet, but they will follow with tradition and this week’s press reports have suggested that Pep Guardiola is happy to give the new Premier League champions an honor guard when they meet Thursday 2 July, live Sky Sports Premier League from 20:00; Kick off at 20.15.
Man City vs Liverpool
July 2, 2020, 8:00 p.m.
Initially there had been fears that the game should have taken place in a neutral venue, but it has now been confirmed that the two teams will face off on Manchester City’s home ground.
With seven games left before the end of the season, Liverpool could still receive seven honor guards, including former Arsenal and Chelsea winners.
When did the tradition start?
Honor guards are not exclusive to the modern era and occurred back in 1955 when Manchester United supplied one to Chelsea.
United continued the tradition in 1991 while celebrating the Gunners’ league title victory by giving them an honor guard in Highbury. The fact that Arsenal beat Liverpool for that reason may have had something to do with this.
Who got it?
United have a history of respect for their opponents and also honored Chelsea who won the Premier League trophy in 2005. In exchange, Chelsea did the same for United two years later. Everton also celebrated the success of the United title on the last day of the season in 2003 in Goodison Park.
One of the most famous in the history of the Premier League was when Arsenal agreed to give United one as a gift after United reached the title in a canter in 2012/13. The reason it was so painful for both Arsenal players and fans was that Robin van Persie wore United colors, having moved to Old Trafford the previous summer.
Liverpool handed Chelsea an honor guard in 2015 at Stamford Bridge, and shortly thereafter Steven Gerrard received one from teammates and the opposition before the club’s last home game against Crystal Palace. Leicester and Claudio Ranieri enjoyed one after the Premier League success a year later, with the Chelsea team and coaches forming two lines to applaud the champions on the field.
Manchester City did not enjoy the luxury of one in 2019, as their title race against Liverpool went on until the last day when champions were confirmed with a 4-1 victory in Brighton. The year before, when Manchester United’s defeat at West Brom gave them the title, they were applauded by Swansea in their next game – before demolishing them 5-0.
Separately, Sir Alex Ferguson received an honor guard from both his Manchester United players and Swansea before his last game in office in 2013.
Has anyone refused to do it?
In Spain there is a bit of history. In 2018, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane asked his players not to welcome Barcelona to the pitch with an honor guard – having been snubbed by the Catalan team earlier in the same season, the game after the Real Madrid had returned victorious from the Club World Cup.
In May 2008 Barcelona became famous as a guard of honor for the recently confirmed Real Madrid champions at the Santiago Bernabeu.
What do they say about it?
Sky Sports’ Gary Neville was quite blunt when he explained how difficult they are to consider, reflecting on the 2005 honor guard in 2013.
“Like your lady who leaves you and is asked to hang new clothes in your old wardrobe !!” she wrote on Twitter. “This is a way of saying it!”
“I can’t care less, I promise you,” said John Terry after his tribute. “All I care about is celebrating with my Chelsea fans. They and I have a wonderful relationship and have been doing it for 22 years.
“Nothing that people write or say can ever stand in their way.”
Watch Man City vs Liverpool on Sky Sports
Watch Man City vs Liverpool from 20:00 on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; The kick-off is at 8.15pm.
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