Pep Guardiola says Man City let Liverpool off the hook as Reds get off canvas to draw heavyweight title slugfest


PEP GUARDIOLA claimed that Manchester City let rival Liverpool break the hook in their title fight.

Copa boss Jurgen Klopp said yesterday’s showdown was like ‘heavyweight boxing’ – but City failed to deliver a key knockout blow in the thriller.

The teams of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola put on another sublime football show

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The teams of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola put on another sublime football showCredit: Getty
The two teams had to settle for a point per piece to hold the title race

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The two teams had to settle for a point per piece to hold the title raceCredit: AFP

The champions remain a point advantage with only seven games left, and Klopp said: “We can describe it as heavyweight boxing. Lower both hands for a second and feel a strong blow.

“You can shake a little, and then the other team will knock next.

“What a game. Wild. The intensity of the game was insane.

“It was such a great game and a result we have to live with – and with which we can live.”

Pep's team is in the pole position in the title race after a thriller against a rival
Klopp insists he did NOT celebrate after the draw against Man City

Kevin De Bruyne gave City the lead in the fifth minute which Diogo Jota canceled out eight minutes later.

Gabriel Jesus regained the home side’s advantage – but Kopa’s birthday winner Sadio Mane equalized less than a minute after the restart.

When he said that rival Klopp compared the match to boxing, City boss Guardiola said: “Quite similar. He loves it. He loves his punches.

“I felt we allowed them to have a life – it was a missed opportunity.

“I watched the blows, we are attacking. They attack with our weapons and that is good for football.

“When you do a lot of good things, sadness is there, but I just said, ‘Forget it.’

“We performed incredibly well and, unfortunately, we could not win.

“It was a good advertisement for the Premier League. It was a fantastic match and both teams tried to win.

“Liverpool are so happy to watch, I know what threats they have and how good they are.

“But we played very well and I’m so proud of my team.”

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Former Liverpool ace Raheem Sterling thought he won it at the Etihad – only to be denied by the harshest offside VAR call.

Klopp also admitted: “We were lucky. It was offside, but I heard it was a small difference. “

The head of the Reds warned that his team will have to be almost perfect if they want to win the title from here.

He added: “Yes, I think that is probably true. In January, we knew we had to win 18 games if we wanted to win.

“If there’s one we can draw, it’s today.

“Now there are seven games left and we will not stop chasing.”

One game fell and we will not be champions

Pep Guardiola

Guardiola added: “One game fell and we will not be champions.

“Now we know in all competitions that if we drop out, we will miss something.

“But they also have to win all their matches. This is not over. I would say the same for defeat or victory.

“We know what we need to do. I don’t know what will happen. “

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City scorer De Bruyne said: “I felt we had the advantage, but we didn’t win.

“This is how we have to play our games until the end of the season.”





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