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Friday 19 January 2018

Pep Guardiola looking forward after Liverpool defeat

Pep Guardiola needs Manchester City to bounce back after defeat at Liverpool
Pep Guardiola needs Manchester City to bounce back after defeat at Liverpool

Pep Guardiola is keen to get the second half of the season under way after a dispiriting end to 2016 for Manchester City.

City's title challenge suffered another knock as they were beaten 1-0 at second-placed Liverpool on New Year's Eve to fall 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Guardiola's side can ill afford to drop more points when Burnley visit the Etihad Stadium on Monday with Chelsea, after 13 successive wins, showing little sign of making mistakes themselves.

But manager Guardiola, a winner of multiple titles with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, is not giving up the chase.

He said: "When you win 12 or 13 games in a row, to drop points is not easy. The gap is huge because they deserve to be there. When they don't lose it is like this.

"But we are in the Champions League and league (contention). After that defeat on the last day of the year the conclusion is, always, 'could be better' but the way they are training, I am glad to work with these guys.

"Tomorrow we try it again, we start the second leg. We have due respect for the other clubs but we have to focus on ourselves and think about the next one and try to do what we need to do to win the games."

Defeat at Anfield ended the run of three successive victories that had got City back on track after back-to-back losses to Chelsea and Leicester.

It was a lacklustre showing, with City failing to create many chances after falling behind to Georginio Wijnaldum's eighth-minute header.

Guardiola, however, was not overly disappointed with the performance.

He said: "I am not a guy to personalise and and say we lost for that reason. It happened for many things.

"But how we reacted at 1-0 at Anfield - I didn't see people who didn't run or play with personality. We just missed a little bit up front and Liverpool are one of the best teams.

"A few times it hasn't happened but normally when we play in these stadiums or opponents come to the Etihad Stadium we play with good personality."

Press Association

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