Man City couldn't help themselves and Arne Slot knows just how Liverpool should respond

-Credit: (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Experience dictates that most things on social media should be greeted with a generous pinch of salt. But those same wisened ways also suggest there are rarely coincidences in football.

Which leads nicely into what Manchester City's Twitter (nobody calls it X, Elon) account has been up to this week.

Seemingly apropos of nothing, on Thursday morning came a post which harked back to a particular week in the club's recent history in September 2017 when a 5-0 Premier League win over 10-man Liverpool was followed by a 4-0 Champions League triumph at Feyenoord.

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It didn't take long for people, and not just Reds supporters, to point out that less than 24 hours earlier, former Feyenoord boss Arne Slot had delivered his first interview since being named as successor to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

City's social media policy is such that they, like most other clubs, steer clear of baiting rivals, particularly Liverpool given the recent history of acrimony between the two sets of supporters. But there was something suspiciously naughty about the timing of their seemingly random throwback to yesteryear, in what could be construed as a not-so-subtle message to the incoming Slot.

Cue the expected responses of the Anfield side living rent-free in the minds of City, as they have done for much of the previous seven years. It could easily be construed as a backhanded compliment, although Slot hadn't even started his managerial career when the games were played, let alone taken change at Feyenoord.

Regardless of intention, the social media post was a reminder of the titanic tussles between City and Liverpool throughout the era of Klopp and Pep Guardiola that saw the Reds as the only team to consistently challenge and at times overcome the Etihad outfit and the unique advantages they continue to enjoy.

And Slot, while expressing his admiration for the methods of Guardiola and citing the City boss as an inspiration, wasted no time in aiming his sights down the M62.

"We would all love to see Liverpool a bit higher than third place and this is the challenge we are facing now – to build on from what we have," said the new Reds boss, referencing last season when the Anfield side ultimately fell short in their quest for the title behind Arsenal and champions City.

"I have all the confidence in this because of the players, that we can add a few things where we hopefully can get a bit more points than 82, which is necessary with the likes of Arsenal and City, to end up hopefully a bit higher than we did this season."

If it's exactly what Liverpool supporters wanted to hear, it's also a clear sign to City. The identity of the man in the dugout may have changed, but the modern-day rivalry between the clubs seems set to endure.