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Bayern's Guardiola hails 'awesome' Liverpool

ESPN staff
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Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Premier League leaders Liverpool and welcomed their return to the Champions League next season.

Liverpool are two points clear at the top of the league and have their fate in their own hands, with title challengers Chelsea and Manchester City yet to travel to Anfield.

Guardiola, whose Bayern side hold a 23-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga in his first season at the helm, was defending Sir Alex Ferguson from criticism about his role in United's struggles this season when he expressed his admiration for Brendan Rodgers's team.

Some critics have focused on the squad David Moyes inherited from Ferguson as the reason for United's struggles this season. The defending Premier League champions trail Liverpool by 17 points in seventh.

But Guardiola said Ferguson was responsible for shifting the seat of power from Anfield to Old Trafford.

"Before it was Liverpool. I'm happy Liverpool are coming back, because they are playing awesome and they deserve to be there. It'll be good for the Champions League next season.

"But I am pretty sure Alex Ferguson was the most important person in [Manchester United]'s history, at least in the last half-century."

Guardiola also offered his support and backing to Moyes, whose last shot at silverware comes in the Champions League.

"Sometimes you need a little more time," he added. "The decisions of Manchester United are always right. They know he is a good coach and did a good job at Everton."

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