Guardiola Unsure of Catching Liverpool in Title Race
By Samuel Victor Akpan
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has cast doubt over his side’s chances of catching Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
The European champions opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the log and a nine-point lead over defending champions Manchester City after a 3-1 defeat of the Citizens at Anfield on Sunday.
In a tense encounter at Anfield, Brazilian Fabinho opened the scoring after rifling home from 25 yards beyond City goal-keeper Claudio Bravo after just six minutes, a bad start that Manchester City never recovered from.
The City boss now feels it is now uncertain if they can claw back the deficit on Liverpool. Speaking after the game, Guardiola said, “We have Chelsea at home next, we will try to beat them. I am not a magician; I don’t know the future.”
Despite scoring in the 78th minute through Bernardo Silva after falling behind 3-0, Manchester City couldn’t avoid a third defeat of the season, a result that now puts them fourth on the league table, a point behind Chelsea and Leicester City in third and second respectively.
However, Guardiola praised his side for their personality especially in the second half.
“We started incredibly well, we showed incredible bravery. They are the champions of Europe and it is the most difficult stadium in the world.”
“We cannot deny how good Liverpool are but the way we played, the personality, it was good. Congratulations to Liverpool, they scored three, we got one but I’m so proud of my team, few teams can come here and play the way we did.”
In a game filled with VAR controversy, Mohammed Salah headed home Andrew Robertson’s perfect cross in the 13th minute, seven minutes after Fabinho’s opener as the Reds continue to rattle the Citizens in the opening minutes of the encounter.
Sadio Mane made sure of the points early in the second half with another headed goal from a Jordan Henderson cross, as Liverpool maintained their unbeaten run in the league.
When quizzed about the VAR decisions, Guardiola sharply replied saying. “Ask Mike Riley and his people please.”
On his part, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to be drawn on the importance of the win as his side push for a first league title since 1989/1990 season.
“Each point we have we need to go through the most intense period ever. It’s not important, who wants to be first in early November? It’s important to be top in May”, said the German.