Pep Guardiola: Riyad Mahrez had the balls to take the penalty

Elena Summers
October 8, 2018

Mourinho has been roundly criticised in the past two seasons after his United team emerged from Anfield with successive 0-0 draws.

The visitors had three previous claims for a spot-kick before Virgil van Dijk's challenge on substitute Leroy Sane eventually resulted in one, but £60million summer signing Mahrez blazed over.

The City manager apologised to the Brazil worldwide after refusing his request to take the 86th minute spot-kick that could have delivered a significant victory at Anfield on Sunday.

With designated penalty takes Sergio Aguero not on the field, Mahrez moved Gabriel Jesus aside to take the responsibility.

What concerns me more about Spurs is still the strength of their squad and whether it is deep enough compared to the likes of City, Liverpool and Chelsea. Liverpool was never able to build up the sort of momentum it had for spells all three of the games it won against City last season.

Nevertheless, the second half started with more objective by both the teams and they got many chances to win the game.

Yes it made for a drab game this time, but their real battle is only just beginning.


After Fernandinho blasted an ambitious long-range effort high and wide of the right post in the 58th minute, Mahrez collected David Silva's through-ball on the left and went past Andrew Robertson before fizzing a low shot inches wide of the target from 12 yards out on 61 minutes. It was great game to play, unlucky that we didn't score, unlucky that we didn't concede as well'. "The attacking threat from their team is brilliant and I think we stopped that, defended well as a team and kept them to as few chances as we could". "It showed we can do both - have the ball and be very strong as well".

"You can not ignore City in the preparation for a City game", Klopp said.

After a blistering start from Liverpool, Pep Guardiola's side recovered and pressed the home side but they held on until the interval. "I would not like to speak about the referees, about the decisions", Guardiola said when asked by Pro Soccer Talk.

"To respond is really important, but to respond is really hard when the next opponent is Manchester City because there is no time for any wrong thoughts or whatever". We have many of them.

That transpired on the pitch, especially it appears in the first half injury to influential figure James Milner, and meant Liverpool couldn't press with their usual relentlessness.

"We had our chances as well; it's not as if it was their game for the taking".

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