Liverpool and Manchester City players had to be separated when a group-hug broke out at the Etihad on Sunday evening, Paddy Power News can exclusively reveal.
After an enthralling 2-2 draw, the players came together in the tunnel and traded cuddles before being pulled apart by stewards.
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The sickening scenes were reminiscent of previous recent encounters between the two sides with hugs meted out indiscriminately.
Immediately after the full-time whistle, Guardiola gave Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp a firm ‘high five’ before embracing his German counterpart on the touchline.
‘Sometimes these things happen in football when emotions get the better of us’, said Guardiola of the incident.
‘When Jürgen wrapped those huge arms around me, I just felt so safe’.
‘I try to have a good relationship with all the managers but I learned it’s better not to have cuddles with Big Sam. He squeezes too tight and stinks of Brute aftershave’.
‘Jürgen’s hugs are the best in the world’, wept the 51-year-old.
Meanwhile, Klopp heaped praise on his opposite number’s hug-ability.
‘Pep is a world-class hugger’.
‘He is at just the right height to rest his little waxed head on my bosom’.
‘He’s gentle. Unlike Big Sam, who does not consider it a hug unless he cracks at least one rib’.
TV coverage showed opposing players exchanging playful slaps and prolonged embraces before being pulled apart by stewards desperate to get home to their families after a long day.
‘I haven’t seen sportsmen hug each other this much since Floyd Mayweather fought Logan Paul’, one steward told Paddy Power news.
‘I tried to stir things up a bit and lobbed a slice of pizza at Pep like Fabregas did with Fergie’.
‘But Jürgen told his players and staff to smear themselves with pepperoni to show solidarity with their Man City brothers’.
‘Then everyone got in a circle, held hands and sang Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’.
‘I’ve handed in my notice’, he added.
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