Football has been ‘unfair’ on Man City – but ‘justice done’ for Champions League finalists Liverpool, says Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina Liverpool Real Madrid Champions League 2009
The Reds will meet Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid – and their former goalkeeper is backing them to win a sixth crown

Pepe Reina believes “justice has been done” with Liverpool reaching the Champions League final – but feels Manchester City’s failure to make the Madrid showpiece leaves “a bad taste in their mouths”.

City pipped current Milan goalkeeper Reina’s former club Liverpool to the 2018-19 Premier League title by a point, despite Jurgen Klopp’s side losing just once in the league all season.

The Reds defeated Wolves 2-0 on the final day, but Pep Guardiola’s side’s simultaneous 4-1 victory at Brighton left them on 98 points to seal a second title in a row under the Catalan.

Liverpool extended their season to June 1 with an incredible 4-0 second-leg semi-final win over Barcelona at Anfield to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit from Camp Nou.

A day later Tottenham staged their own remarkable recovery as they came back from 3-0 down on aggregate against Ajax to win 3-2 through Lucas Moura’s hat-trick at the Johan Cryuff Arena and set up a meeting with their English rivals at the Wanda Metropolitano.

In an exclusive interview with Goal, Reina was asked who football had been most unfair on this season.

“Maybe with City,” he responded, “for the squad it has but has not achieved the Champions League in the last three years with Guardiola. They have a bad taste in their mouths because they could not reach the final.

“But justice has been done with Liverpool's football, with which there has also been unfairness if we see that they have not managed to win the Premier League despite getting 97 points and having lost a single game. That is also bad luck.”

Liverpool have a chance to win a sixth European Cup against first-time finalists Spurs, thanks to their epic Anfield comeback.

Reina continued: “It is that Liverpool were better also in the first leg, but [Leo] Messi appeared at Camp Nou and they did not concede goals thanks to [goalkeeper Marc-Andre] ter Stegen.

“Nobody expected it, but it is that incredible things happen in Anfield. What I'm going for is that the surprising result was that of the first leg.

“In the second leg Liverpool did everything that they had to do.”

With two Premier League sides aiming for glory in Madrid, Reina feels the English competition is the best in the world.

“Absolutely, it's something I already said when I arrived at Liverpool 14 years ago,” Reina added. “It is, in competitive and organisational terms.

“They are two teams that know each other very well, but, for me, Liverpool are the favourites. Tottenham have earned respect and are also a very chameleonic side. They have their favourite systems, they like to play with three at the back, but have more tactical versions than Liverpool.

“Even so, they (Liverpool) can do more damage if they press high. Tottenham will also depend on who plays up top - if it is Fernando [Llorente] they will be dangerous in those second plays.”

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Meanwhile, Reina revealed he has spoken to Iker Casillas since the Porto goalkeeper’s recovery from a heart attack earlier this month.

Reina said: “Yes, I have noticed him happy and grateful for how quickly they saved his life. Now he has to make a decision and I hope it is the smartest, and the one I imagine. As a friend, I hope so.

“Iker can look back with great pride, and Spain must be eternally grateful to him because he has been the best goalkeeper in the history of Spanish football.”