Football

'One of my happiest days'

Man City boss Guardiola pleased despite failing to beat Liverpool

Pep Guardiola won 21 trophies in seven years while in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich but said his Manchester City side's 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League yesterday morning (Singapore time) was one of his happiest moments in management.

It was quite a statement from the Spaniard, who was clearly still as breathless as the fans who watched a classic encounter at the Etihad Stadium when he spoke after the match.

"You cannot imagine. It is one of the happiest days of my career as a manager. I am so proud," said Guardiola, whose side were knocked out of the Champions League by Monaco last week.

"After the Champions League, the last few days at training people were so, so sad, people don't talk too much.

"We arrive here against Liverpool, who have no Europe all season and one week to prepare. The spirit, how we played, it is one of my happiest days 
as a manager."

Former England striker Alan Shearer, however, called it a strange statement.

He told the BBC: "City could not afford to lose this game, partly after what happened against Monaco. They needed a reaction and performance.

"I am not sure it is Pep Guardiola's proudest performance after what he achieved as a coach and player.

"He was pleased with the commitment and passion of his players. It was a strange thing to say."

Guardiola's side fell behind to James Milner's 51st-minute penalty but earned a point, thanks to Sergio Aguero's equaliser.

Aguero wasted a gilt-edged opportunity to put City ahead, volleying over with the goal gaping, while Adam Lallana also missed a sitter for Liverpool.

While the Reds rued their poor finishing up front, former Manchester United fullback Gary Neville felt Liverpool's "suspect" defence coped well.

He told Sky Sports: "I think Liverpool defended pretty well against some pretty good play.

“I am not sure it is Pep Guardiola’s proudest performance after what he achieved as a coach and player... It was a strange thing to say.”Former England captain Alan Shearer on Pep Guardiola’s remarks

"(Leroy) Sane's a very good player, (Raheem) Sterling will cause you problems, (Kevin) de Bruyne and (David) Silva are probably two of the best players you'll see in the league but I thought Liverpool, who are suspect defensively, did a pretty good job and managed the threat well."

While City couldn't find the winner, de Bruyne felt that they dominated the match.

He told City's official website: "For 80 minutes, we played good and I think we dominated the game.

"After going 1-0 down, there were 10 minutes of difficulty when Liverpool had high confidence.

"But I think in the end we played a good game.

"We just didn't score the second goal." - WIRE SERVICES

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