Pep Guardiola said his Manchester City side showed “how good they are” as they reignited the title race with a 2-1 victory over leaders Liverpool.
The champions cut the gap at the top of the Premier League to four points and ended Liverpool’s unbeaten season with a result that should restore City’s confidence after three defeats in their previous five games.
“We reduced the gap but still they are on top of the table and still it is four points,” Guardiola told a news conference. “It is enough points to be calm but it is a good moment to congratulate and say thank you to these incredible players for what they have done in the last 16 months.
“Today they showed everybody how good they are, they played against an incredible team. It was a good spectacle and both teams played to win.
“It was a final for us because losing today and it was almost over. Winning means it is tight again.”
Without a recognised left-back, Guardiola was forced to shuffle his team, moving Aymeric Laporte to the role. The French defender also played in that position in City’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League last season and Guardiola hailed his courage to do it again.”
“I admire the people who do everything for the team, even [playing] in position they are not comfortable,” he said. “You forgot for two seasons we played without a typical left-back. Fabian Delph is a midfielder and [Oleksandr] Zinchenko is a number 10.
“[Laporte] make an incredible performance. In that position with [Mohamed] Salah, with [Sadio] Mane, it is not easy for any player in the world. These guys destroy all the opponents — Mane, Salah and Firmino they destroy everybody.
“They controlled quite well, Vinnie [Kompany] and John [Stones] they were quite solid and Danilo as well.
“Playing Liverpool so high like we play, we are not going to not concede chances. With the first action we were lucky, I know that, but we had many chances to kill the game.”
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