Manchester City and Liverpool are on a different planet to the majority of teams around at the moment.
Their clash this evening served up another reminder as to why they are the two strongest sides in Europe, with the intensity on show over the course of the 90 minutes scarcely believable at times.
Both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are incredibly brave in their approach to the game, demanding that their teams push up and play on the front foot at all times. Even when they are under pressure at the back, they continue to stick to this philosophy.
Gary Neville was taken aback by just how much things have changed in these type of fixtures compared to his playing days. Speaking on Sky Sports, he said it was remarkable to watch.
They are exceptional teams, so good. What I admire most of them is from a defensive points of view. You could never have gotten [Jamie Carragher] or me, or even [Micah Richard] to push up with five minutes to go like those two teams.
The nerve to do that, under pressure against the best opponents with the best passers and best runners, is unbelievable. It really is.
You see teams push up in the past, you had the Arsenal team with Tony Adams that pushed up high at times, but never like we have seen these two teams in this game today. They are the two best teams in Europe and in the world doing it in the most difficult moments, that takes some doing.
It is certainly quite the evolution from where the game was only a decade or so ago, with these two teams at the forefront of the tactical changes in the sport.
Roy Keane throws brilliant dig at Gary Neville
The likes of Neville and Carragher were never asked to play in such a manner during their playing days, something Roy Keane was quick to remind his former teammate about:
Richards: 🗣️ "I was lightning! Don't put me in the same category as you & Carra!"
Keane: 🗣️ "You did drop deep towards the end of your career. You were behind the goal at one stage."
The comebacks fired at Gary Neville 😆 pic.twitter.com/fKw70QksDk
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 10, 2022
You did drop deep towards the end of your career Gary, I have to say. You were behind the goal at one stage!
It takes courage to do that when you're up against that quality. The players have to go and do it, but it's the coach that is giving them that message. The players are doing it because they're brave enough to do it...
You have to credit both managers and both teams, they were desperate to win this game. Before the game all the talk from the managers was 'nothing will be decided today', it didn't seem that way when the game started. It felt like it was winner takes all today, they both played with that attitude.
That's why it was so entertaining, it was fantastic.
Never one to miss an opportunity.
In fairness to Neville, he always did the job that was asked of him. In saying that, he would probably be the first person to say that he would struggle to replicate what some of those players out on that pitch did this evening.