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Pep Guardiola bemoans Manchester City letting Liverpool off the hook in title clash

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‘I have a feeling that we leave them alive’: Pep Guardiola bemoans Manchester City letting Liverpool off the hook in the thrilling Premier League title race, as he admits his side ‘missed an opportunity’

  • Manchester City played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Liverpool at the Etihad 
  • The result saw them remain a single point above the visitors in the title battle 
  • But Pep Guardiola says his side let the Reds off the hook by missing chances 
  • Substitute Riyad Mahrez clipped one over the crossbar in stoppage time drama 

Pep Guardiola bemoaned the fact that Manchester City had let Liverpool off the hook in the dramatic Premier League title race.

City dominated large spells of a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium but missed a number of presentable chances.

Substitute Riyad Mahrez could have won it in stoppage time — and sent City four points clear — but chipped over the bar with only Liverpool keeper Alisson to beat.

Pep Guardiola has bemoaned Manchester City letting Liverpool off the hook in the title race

Pep Guardiola has bemoaned Manchester City letting Liverpool off the hook in the title race

‘I had the feeling we missed an opportunity today,’ Guardiola said. ‘I have a feeling that we leave them alive. But I said to the team afterwards to keep their heads up – I don’t want any sadness for one second.

‘Normally when you do many good things and don’t win you are sad but I said forget about it. The last simple action we maybe did not do but I’m glad and proud of my team.’

Guardiola claimed City cannot afford to drop a single point because he expects Liverpool to win their seven remaining games of the season.

Riyad Mahrez clipped one over in stoppage time with Man City failing to take all three points

Riyad Mahrez clipped one over in stoppage time with Man City failing to take all three points

‘We fight until the end,’ he added. ‘One game dropped, we will not be champions. If we draw, we will not be champions.

‘If we won today, maybe we’d have the chance to miss something in the future. It will be difficult – but for them too, they have to win all the games.

‘It’s nice to say I was watching that game. The punches – we attack, they attack – the weapons both teams have.’

Jurgen Klopp was equally complimentary about the spectacle, likening the trading of blows to a heavyweight title fight.

Phil Foden fell to his knees after the agonising miss, with Liverpool still one point behind City

Phil Foden fell to his knees after the agonising miss, with Liverpool still one point behind City

‘What a game,’ he said. ‘Wild. Better start for City. We can describe it like a boxing fight. Both arms down for a second and you get a massive knock. 

‘You can shake a bit and then the next knock is coming from the other team. I liked a lot of things, I thought we were closer than ever.

‘In all moments we played football and controlled the game. We played really simple passes, let them run, and then we were really dangerous to them.’

Liverpool were vastly improved after the break and Klopp detailed the fine margins that go into splitting two teams who have racked up astonishing points hauls over the past few years.

Jurgen Klopp likened the enthralling clash to two boxers trading blows in a heavyweight fight

Jurgen Klopp likened the enthralling clash to two boxers trading blows in a heavyweight fight

‘We are where we want to be, close to an incredible side,’ he added. ‘If you don’t have luck in life you’re screwed… it’s like three years ago, it was 17mm here, 15mm there.

‘We have to be close to perfection to win seven Premier League games. It’s insane but that’s the only way to beat this team.’

Kevin De Bruyne was left dissatisfied by the sluggish way City started the second half, allowing Liverpool to equalise after 45 seconds.

Kevin De Bruyne was left dissatisfied by the sluggish way City started the second half

Kevin De Bruyne was left dissatisfied by the sluggish way City started the second half

‘The way the second half started was most disappointing,’ he said. ‘We know with a couple of chances they can score.

‘We created enough to win the game. It was a great chance at the end, Riyad chips him and if it goes in, it was a wonder goal.

‘We played it very well and I think we had the upper hand but didn’t win. This is the way we need to play the rest of the season.’

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