Jurgen Klopp implored Liverpool to continue “annoying” Manchester City as the Reds pursue the Premier League leaders.
Guardiola’s defending top-flight champions are six points clear at the top, though they fell to a 3-2 reverse against Tottenham on Saturday.
Liverpool are in second and have the opportunity to cut the deficit to just three points when they host Leeds United on Wednesday.
Following last week’s Champions League win over Sporting CP, Guardiola joked that the Reds were a “pain in the a**” and Klopp wants his side to carry on pestering City.
“First and foremost, it’s important that we are close to whoever is at the top because that shows that some things are going in the right direction,” Klopp said when asked about the title race on Tuesday.
“In the last four seasons – we were not around one year because of our problems, and we had some struggles – but before it was an insane race.
“Both teams are able to do some special stuff, I have to say with all respect [because] what City is doing is incredible.
“I think we are pushing each other as well, not only us because I don’t forget the other teams like Chelsea, [Manchester] United, Arsenal and Tottenham.
“But, we are pushing each other and that’s how it is, and it keeps you going. There is no chance to get a bit soft because the other one will be there immediately to catch you.
“I think what Pep said – that we are the pain in the lower back, that’s a good description and that’s how it should be.
“We try to be as annoying as somehow possible until we have a chance to overtake, but I don’t know when that will be or if that will be the case.
“But, what I always said is that we have the decisive moments of the season, but it’s not now in February; it’s March and April.”
Many are billing the clash between the top two at the Etihad Stadium on April 9 as a potential deciding factor in the title race, but Klopp insisted his team must keep the pace now to make that the case.
“You have to be close enough to make a decision in your direction and I don’t know if that will be the case because what we do is pretty special, and I don’t expect that to happen every week, and you cannot turn around games every week,” he added.
“We have to be at our absolute best to play the best possible season for us and unfortunately, only twice a year in the Premier League, we face the other team [City].
“The first one was a draw where we were not brilliant but good enough to get a point, and the next one is not played yet, and we have to play the other teams including Tottenham and United as well.
“We don’t sit here and count those points as done, and then we wait for the middle of April for the City game.
“But, what the boys did over the past four years is pretty special and I’m happy with that, but not overly happy that I think that’s enough.
“So far, it’s not a bad season, but the decisions will be made later, and we just have to make sure that we are always in and around when these decisions will be made.”