Guardiola hails City despite defeat against Liverpool - GulfToday

Guardiola hails City despite defeat against Liverpool


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gestures to the fans after the match on Sunday. Reuters

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed the efforts of his team despite their loss against title rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

He said his side showed why they were Premier League champions, nevertheless losing the most-hyped match of the season.

Though, after the defeat, the gap between both the teams has widened up and Liverpool opened a nine-point lead over City, but before the kick-off the match was billed as the closest contest between the two Premier League sides.    

Liverpool took a huge step towards a first top-flight title in 30 years by opening an eight-point lead at the top of the table to their nearest rivals Leicester.

Goals from Fabinho and Mohamed Salah gave the European champions a dream start before Sadio Mane’s diving header early in the second half sealed City’s fate.

Bernardo Silva pulled a late goal back but a third defeat in eight league games leaves City down in fourth, nine points behind Liverpool, and with a mountain to climb if they are to claim a third straight league title.

“What happened today we showed why are champion,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

“I am so proud of my team, more than ever. We can be proud of how we played against the strongest team in Europe.”

“We played like back-to-back champions,” he added.

“We cannot deny how good Liverpool are but the way we played, the personality, it was good.”

Meanwhile, even Jürgen Klopp cannot quite believe Liverpool’s lead over Manchester City this early in the season.

“That’s crazy, nine points,” the Liverpool manager said. “You cannot imagine that something like this can happen.”

“Other people 100 per cent said already that from now on Liverpool can only lose it,” Klopp said.

“Well that’s a very negative approach, but you can see it like this. We don’t care.”

Only 12 games have been played, with another 26 to go in the pursuit of a first title since 1990 for the 18-time English champions. Klopp is not getting carried away despite Liverpool’s top spot.

“But it’s not important because who wants to be first in early November?” Klopp said.

“You want to be first in May.”

For the past two seasons that final position has been held by City. Now the two-time defending champions head into the international break down in fourth place.


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