After a superb draw with Liverpool, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola came away feeling unfulfilled.
The pulsating 2-2 draw has left Guardiola’s men top of the table abover Jurgen Klopp’s Reds by a single point, but the Catalan coach feels like his side didn’t quite do all they could do at the Etihad Stadium.
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Guardiola told Sky Sports: “I had a feeling that we let them leave alive from here, but Liverpool is a joy to watch. I know the threats they have up front, how difficult they are. I’m so incredibly proud of my team.”
The coach was full of admiration for his rivals, even though he admitted that his City side should have won the match given their dominance of possession and territory.
Now they are still in the thick of a title race: “Seven games left. We have to win all of them,” said the Catalan. “Otherwise it will be over.”
“[Klopp] likes that, he likes his punching games,” said Guardiola, when the Liverpool manager’s assessment of the game (he compared it to a boxing match) was put to him.
“It is a good advert for the Premier League,” he said, before closing with: “[Klopp] has to know that I respect him a lot. His teams are really positive. I try to imitate him in that sense.”
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On City “letting Liverpool leave alive” from the Etihad, their failure to truly punish their visitors echoed a weakness that Spurs manager Antonio Conte had mentioned earlier that weekend.
Conte said after Spurs’ win over Aston Villa on Saturday: “The winner has to feel when there is blood. The blood of your opponent and then you have to try to kill your opponent.”