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Manchester City logo
Premier League | Gameweek 13
Nov 25, 2023 at 12.30pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Liverpool logo
Man City
1 - 1
Haaland (27')
Silva (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Alexander-Arnold (80')
Nunez (75'), Matip (86'), Endo (90+3')

Pep Guardiola: 'Manchester City could not have played better in Liverpool draw'

Guardiola: 'Man City could not have played better in Liverpool draw'
© Reuters
Pep Guardiola heaps praise on his Manchester City side and believes that they could not have played any better after Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Liverpool in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola was hugely complimentary of his Manchester City side and believes that they could not have played any better following Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Liverpool in the Premier League.

The Citizens were looking to claim their 24th successive victory at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions and equal an all-time English top-flight winning record in the lunchtime kickoff, but they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils courtesy of a late leveller from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Man City dominated proceedings in the opening exchanges and Erling Haaland opened the scoring on the 27-minute mark following a misplaced clearance from Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

The Brazilian attempted to pick out Mohamed Salah with a long ball on the counter-attack, but his effort went straight up in the air and was controlled by Nathan Ake, who breezed past two Liverpool defenders before setting up Haaland to sweep a left-footed shot into the far corner.

Haaland's strike was his 50th in the Premier League after just 48 games, becoming the fastest player in the competition's history to reach the half-century.

Manchester City's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal on November 25, 2023© Reuters

For all their dominance in possession, Man City were unable to net a second, and that proved costly as Liverpool – who improved going forward in the second half – restored parity 10 minutes from time when Alexander-Arnold drilled a low strike into the bottom corner, less than a minute after Alisson had denied Haaland from close range at the other end.

Man City remain top of the Premier League table, at the time of writing, and one point clear of second-placed Liverpool, but third-placed Arsenal could leapfrog both teams to the summit if they beat Brentford in the Saturday evening kickoff.

Guardiola was full of praise for his side's performance despite dropping two points, telling BBC Sport: "We played really well, excellent performance and after eight years we knew we wanted to still have this desire to compete and play the way we want to.

"We made an incredible build-up from Ederson, from Ruben [Dias]. The way he moved Manuel [Akanji] and Rodri inside was excellent. We controlled the transitions well with Kyle [Walker] and Nathan [Ake]. Out left side was a little bit more aggressive than the right side, but in general [the performance] was really good, good high-pressing, we defended deep.

"In a game with eight to 10 chances they had only two, one in the first half with a header and the goal from Alexander-Arnold – an impressive shot.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the match on November 25, 2023© Reuters

"Really good, I don't have anything to complain or regret about. I am proud of the team and what they have done, the way we played against that team cannot be better.

"We missed a second goal (and with that) it would have been over, but football is like that, they are happy, we are a little bit less happy. Now thinking about Champions League (against RB Leipzig) and Spurs."

"There are no doubts that [Liverpool] are an exceptional team," Guardiola added. "That's why I'm really pleased with the way we played and a little bit 'agh it's a pity' for the way we played against that team.

"They defended really well, so tight, so deep when we were able to break, the first pressure, but in general we played incredibly. I'm so, so pleased for the way we performed."

Asked why he did not make any substitutions, Guardiola said: "I thought about putting Rico [Lewis] on, but [the team] were playing good, with the second balls Julian [Alvarez] was brilliant. I felt comfortable (not making changes), I didn't see people tired."

Man City will shift their attention to next Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Leipzig, before returning to Premier League action against Tottenham Hotspur on December 3.

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