Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp were both in agreement about their respective hectic schedules after Man City claimed the Community Shield on Sunday.
Guardiola admits there remains little between the two teams after securing a 5-4 penalty shoot-out success at Wembley, but expects other teams to be involved in the battle for the league this term.
Claudio Bravo’s shoot-out save from Georginio Wijnaldum proved decisive on Sunday after Joel Matip’s second-half header cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s early opener to leave the game 1-1 at full-time.
Both sides’ pre-season preparations have been disrupted by players arriving back late for training due to being involved in the Copa America or Africa Cup of Nations.
City were without Fernandinho and Riyad Mahrez and left Sergio Aguero on the bench because of international commitments, while Sadio Mane was absent for Liverpool.
Guardiola, who played down the severity of an early injury suffered by Leroy Sane, feels the current footballing calendar is “not normal” and believes it should be looked at by the authorities.
“The people say that ‘for the amount of the money the players win, for the amount of money the managers win, you have to play, play and play’. That is not normal,” said Guardiola.
“They don’t listen to the players, the managers, what is the best to protect, especially the players. Because at the end of the day I don’t play, I can be every day being a manager and having a game, I don’t run, but for the players they should consider it.”
European champions Liverpool grew into the game and had the better of the second half, with Mohamed Salah particularly wasteful in front of goal.
Reds boss Klopp, who has been vocal that the schedule is too punishing for players, was pleased with the overall display of his side.
“People should start to be a bit concerned about it,” he said. ‘The difference now is the pressure. The game is also much quicker than it used to be. The clubs have to think as well. Our jewels are the players.
“We tell the players to go again, ask for so much – we don’t put them in cotton wool. It’s a different job than any others. We had five days training with that group. That’s the situation. Today we went over the point of tiredness.
“Wherever you go it’s a proper fight – that’s what makes the Premier League so exciting – but the duels we deal with are with the players. I don’t need another week off but the players do. We have to make sure the guys who decide these things think.
“Football-wise, the second half was just really, really good, the best way you can play against City,” said the German.
“They are in the early stages as well, they will be in a different shape in a couple of weeks, for sure.
“But having this amount of chances we had today is a very good sign for us, absolutely.
“I liked the game a lot. I don’t like the result but I liked the game a lot, so for us it was very, very important.”