Liverpool received their second guard of honour in a matter of days against Aston Villa.
It’s become something of a Premier League tradition for the newly-crowned champions to be welcomed on to the pitch with applause in their remaining games after winning the title.
And the Reds have been bigger beneficiaries of this routine than any of their predecessors after winning the trophy with seven matches left to play.
Manchester City were the first team to line up a guard of honour at the Etihad Stadium with the players expressly ordered by Pep Guardiola to show respect to the team that nabbed their title.
You’d be forgiven for thinking they used the humbling gesture as motivation, though, as they caught Liverpool napping by inflicting just their second defeat of the season in a 4-0 thrashing.
Guards of honour for Liverpool
However, the same can’t be said of Villa who, despite having to bite their tongue by making way for Jurgen Klopp’s side, were unable to motivate themselves to victory with the gesture.
Instead, their fight to avoid relegation to the Championship dragged on as goals from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones secured a 2-0 victory after 71 minutes of stalemate.
But aside from the nature of Liverpool’s two games as champions, the guards of honour that awaited them in each has become a topic of discussion for Kopites on social media.
Was Villa’s better than City’s?
In fact, many supporters believed that Villa made a significant improvement on City’s show of respect, giving them a ‘proper’ guard of honour when the first seemed a little cobbled together.
It’s a point made all the stronger by the fact Bernardo Silva appeared to disrespect the tradition by refusing to applaud the Liverpool players as they strode on to the Etihad pitch.
The City players also seemed to peel away from their formation before Liverpool had fully passed through and many are of the opinion that Villa players gave the champions a heartier clap.
So, did the Villa squad show up Guardiola and co. or are Liverpool fans just bitter about losing 4-0? We’ll let you decide by checking out footage of the two guards of honour down below:
This is what you call a proper guard of honour.👏 pic.twitter.com/5gPUmATKQB— Kloppholic (@Kloppholic) July 5, 2020
The deadest guard of honour ever 😂 pic.twitter.com/GsWah87WGd— #EandJpod (@blicktargaryen) July 2, 2020