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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City held off ‘tsunami’ to earn draw at Liverpool

SoccerNews in English Premier League 10 Mar 2024

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Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City had survived a “tsunami” after the champions’ crunch Premier League title clash at Liverpool on Sunday ended 1-1.

John Stones gave City a 23rd-minute lead in an absorbing contest at Anfield but the Reds hit back with an Alexis Mac Allister penalty early in the second half.

Both sides had opportunities to win the game but Liverpool had spells of dominance and Guardiola was relieved to come through them.

The result leaves the title race thrillingly poised, with Arsenal leading on goal difference from Liverpool and with City just one point behind with 10 games remaining.

City manager Guardiola said: “We spoke at half-time that in this stadium, if you have to defend something, you have to play and play and play.

“We gave away the penalty and, sooner or later, with this stadium, you have 15 or 20 minutes and it looks like a tsunami coming for everybody who has the ball.

“It is not easy but we never stopped trying to play. They had their chances, we had our chances and at the end of the game it (draw) is what happened.”

Guardiola, whose side are chasing a fourth successive Premier League crown and a sixth in seven years, is pleased to be involved in the thick of another title race.

He said: “Still there are 10 games to go, 30 points to play for, one point difference.

“The important thing is still we are there, after where we came from in previous seasons still we are there. Except one year when Liverpool won it with a lot of points, we were always there.”

The ball twice hit the Liverpool goal frame in the second half as Jeremy Doku struck a post and the ball also thumped off the bar after rebounding off Phil Foden, but the hosts felt they should have had another penalty late on.

Doku appeared to catch Mac Allister high in the chest in stoppage time but referee Michael Oliver gave nothing and VAR did not overturn the decision.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had no doubt it should have been a spot-kick but did not want to make a fuss of it.

He said: “Yes (it was a penalty) but whatever I think now will not change that. I think everyone in this room thinks, if he whistles a penalty, it is not a scandal.

“He hits him on the chest. Yes, he touches the ball before but does that make any difference on any position of the pitch if your leg is that high?

“Why would the guy in the VAR studio think that’s not clear and obvious? What must you have for lunch if you think that’s not clear and obvious?

“But I’m not angry. I really don’t care. I’m already over it.”

Klopp was pleased with the performance of his side, given their lengthy injury list, and is determined to battle on.

The German, who is stepping down at the end of the season, said: “We would have loved to use one of the massive chances we created.

“Yes, we are lucky when Doku hit the post but we played an exceptional football game.

“For us, besides the result, the most important information is that we are right there. We go the distance.

“For us it is probably a little bit like, how did we get through all that and that we are still there? It is crazy with all these games and the squad situation we have.

“Today I saw the best 53 minutes we had against Manchester City. It was exceptional how we played.”

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