Liverpool vs Man City: Pep Guardiola hails ‘incredible’ performance despite damaging Anfield defeat

The Reds moved nine points clear of the reigning champions with an important victory on Sunday

Lawrence Ostlere
Sunday 10 November 2019 20:15
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Ten players to play for Liverpool and Manchester City

Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City‘s “incredible” performance despite losing 3-1 at Liverpool to fall nine points behind the league leaders.

City fell behind to two quick first-half goals by Fabinho and Mohamed Salah to be down at the break, and conceded a third early in the second half from Sadio Mane before Bernardo Silva’s late consolation.

Liverpool’s opener came amid some controversy as Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball in his own penalty area, but play went on and Fabinho scored less than 30 seconds later.

Asked what went wrong, Guardiola replied: “We showed why we are the champions. I’m so proud of my team, it’s incredible. We played amazing, so good. We played in a way [that showed] why we are back-to-back champions.”

Guardiola marched on to the pitch to shake referee Michael Oliver’s hand, saying pointedly to the official: “Thank you so much.”

But he refused to discuss the penalty incident after the game. “Ask the referees, Mike Riley (the head of referees’ association), the guys in VAR. Don’t ask me.”

Alexander-Arnold admitted the penalty decision could have gone either way and was happy to see Liverpool come out on top.

“There’s VAR and it has hit my arm but I think it might have hit Bernardo Silva’s first,” he said. “It’s one of them where you have to carry on playing and we went down the other end and punished them.

“They were complaining about the goal...we went down the other end and went 1-0 up.”

The England international knows the Reds cannot afford any slip-ups in their quest to claim the title, despite their handsome lead.

He said: “We’re on a good run of form, still unbeaten, which is what we want to do. We’ve got to keep on picking up the three points.

“At home we’ve got the advantage with the fans, every time we’re here we want to pick up the three points and feel like we should. So for us it’s about keeping that momentum up and we’re just focused on ourselves.

“We picked up a lot of points last season and it still wasn’t enough, so we know we’re going to have to get in and around the same kind of numbers to hopefully come away with a bit of silverware.

“But it’s still early doors and there’s a long way to go.”

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