Football

Guardiola wants Man City players to learn from defeat by Liverpool

Pep Guardiola has challenged his Manchester City stars to use their dramatic 4-3 defeat at Liverpool as a warning to guard against complacency, after seeing their 30-game unbeaten run in the Premier League come to a stunning end at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The leaders fell behind to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's early opener and, although Leroy Sane equalised before half-time, City were blown away by three goals in nine second-half minutes from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Guendogan put a flattering gloss on the scoresheet, and City boss Guardiola had no complaints about his side's first league defeat since April 5 last year at Chelsea.

It was City's first domestic defeat since an FA Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal on April 23 last year.

The Spaniard said: "In every press conference for the last few months, you have said that the Premier League is done.

"I always said no. It is still to be done. Sometimes, the worst thing is when people say from one month ago that it is over.

"It's so difficult to maintain this run, especially against good teams like Liverpool.

"Football is an unpredictable game. We have to fight until the end to win the league."

Guardiola admitted City had lost their composure in the second half after being rattled by Liverpool's relentless pressing and the ferocious Anfield atmosphere. "We lost a lot of balls. Liverpool are so aggressive without the ball and we had little bit of a problem to control that," he said.

"We started the second half good until the goal from Firmino. After that, we lost our control and we became involved in the environment at Anfield."

Although City's lead at the top can be cut to 12 points if second-placed Manchester United beat Stoke City this morning, they remain firm favourites for the title.

Guardiola, who will be without defender Fabian Delph for several weeks after his first-half injury, believes City will use their Anfield frustration to bounce back in their next game against Newcastle United.

"Now, we must be positive, analyse why we lost and look to the game against Newcastle," said Guardiola, who refused to reveal if he is still in the hunt to sign Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez.

"It's never good news to lose, but when you lose, it's important not to lose again.

"We have a young team and maybe it can be good for the future. I've won a lot of titles and always I've dropped points on the way." - AFP

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