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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Pep Guardiola says Premier League title race far from over after Man City loss to Liverpool

Manager lauds Jurgen Klopp's side for aggressive performance at Anfield, but warns his own men will now need to find a way to rebound

Pep Guardiola, left, says Manchester City played well with the exception of a few minutes against Liverpool on Sunday. Peter Powell / EPA
Pep Guardiola, left, says Manchester City played well with the exception of a few minutes against Liverpool on Sunday. Peter Powell / EPA

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted the Premier League title race is not over after his side slipped to a dramatic 4-3 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's early strike was cancelled out by Leroy Sane's goal shortly before half-time but three goals in nine scintillating minutes from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah stunned City.

Guardiola's team threatened an astonishing comeback with late goals for Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan but Liverpool held on for a famous win.

"Congratulations to Liverpool for the victory," Guardiola said. "The game was in our hands at 1-1 but our finishing was not good and then it went suddenly to 4-1.

"You have to be stable when you concede a goal and we were not solid enough. You have to live this kind of situation in the season.

"The reality is we lose the game, we have a week to recover and prepare for the Newcastle game. All credit to the opponent, we know how difficult it is against a Jurgen Klopp team, so aggressive, at Anfield too. We did a good performance apart from a few minutes.

"After the second goal they scored two in a few minutes and it is hard to recover from that. In every press conference for the last few months you have said that the Premier League is done and I always said 'no, it is still to be done'.

"We will defend our position game by game."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted with his team's display and said it was a wonderful advert for the Premier League.

"This was a historical game you will talk about in 20 years because it looks like City will not lose another one this year," he said.

"People watched this game all over the world and this is why - take your heart, throw it on the pitch and play like this, both teams.

"We played, I don't know which level, caused them problems like hell. I was not scared at the end, not that I didn't think we could concede a fourth, I have known my boys long enough now, it was so intense.

"If you combine quality with attitude you see a game like this. I really loved it. You will find someone who wants to talk about defending, no clean sheet, but he can blow up my boots."

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