Pep Guardiola: Manchester City gave Liverpool ‘a life’ in title race with draw

Pep Guardiola claimed Manchester City gave Liverpool “a life” by only drawing 2-2 with them, while Jürgen Klopp insisted his team would “not stop chasing” the champions, who remain a point ahead with each having seven matches left.

Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus were cancelled out by Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané at the Etihad Stadium as City overran Liverpool in the first half before the visitors rallied impressively after the break.

Guardiola said: “I felt we let them have a life from here but Liverpool are a joy to watch, I know how good they are and there is no doubt about that but I am so proud of my team. I said to the team: ‘I don’t want one second sad.’”

Guardiola believes City have to win all of their remaining matches. “We know now that one game and a dropped result, then we will not be champions,” the Catalan said. “Will it be easy? Absolutely not but it will be difficult for them too.

“Seven games in the Premier League is a lot [to win] – they are tough games and they have tough games. I don’t know what will happen but the way we performed throughout the season and against this team to perform the way they did – I am proud. I wanted to win but it doesn’t matter. It was so good.”

Klopp compared the contest to two heavyweight boxers. “What a game. Wild,” he said. “It was a better start for City. In the first half they had a big chance [to kill Liverpool off] and that is how it is. We can describe it like a boxing fight. Both arms down for a second and you get a massive knock. You can shake it off 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 the moments that we played football and controlled the game and we played really simple passes, let them run, and then we were really dangerous to them. That is how we scored the goals and the second-half start was much better with the goal and a great football situation.

“City really tried to use a couple of things like the balls in behind – I can’t remember them doing it much but today they did. Fine. We don’t own the style, it’s just smart – I couldn’t respect it more.

“It’s easy to play the pass but the timing for the run – it’s not bad. We could have done it as well but it’s fine, we improved and it’s about winning games, not which style. It makes sense in moments. I have to watch it back.

“I was not convinced but I had the sense we could win this game. When we played, they had problems. They were direct. We were direct but that wasn’t planned. They had more direct ideas than us and we wanted to let them run when we were in possession so it was one thing with this and we were in a rush defending high balls.

“We wanted to make sure that they saw my boys are exceptional as well and I saw that today and am really happy about that. Now it is seven games to go for both teams. We will not stop chasing now. That is clear. But we now have two different competitions.”

City appear to have the simpler run-in playing Brighton, Watford, Leeds, Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa plus a rearranged meeting with Wolves. Liverpool’s schedule takes in Manchester United, Everton, Newcastle, Tottenham, Villa, Southampton and Wolves.

In the first half a plane flew over the stadium that trailed a banner that read: “British To Be Minority By 2066.” It may be the subject of an investigation.

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