Saturday 23 March 2019

We thought we had lost the league, admits Silva

Bernardo Silva. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Bernardo Silva. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Miguel Delaney

The Manchester City squad saw Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Leicester City as a turning point in the title race, and the "mental boost" they needed, as Bernardo Silva admits they all thought they had "lost the league" after their own 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United.

That shock loss at St James' Park gave Liverpool the chance to go seven points clear of the champions the very next night at home to Leicester, only for Jurgen Klopp's side to drop their first points of the season to a club outside the top six and then suffer another 1-1 draw at West Ham United. Silva said that did give City hope and let them "back in the race", as they then won their own next two matches after Newcastle. Wednesday's 2-0 win at Everton put them back on top on goal difference - albeit with a game more played.

"A few days ago, we thought we had lost the Premier League," Silva admitted. "Now we are top of the league, even if it because we have played one game more. It is good; it is good to be back in the race and we will do our best to win all our games and do our job. That is the most important thing for now.

"After Newcastle, it was very tough on us. We were very disappointed, more than anyone else. The players, the staff… we were all very, sad because we all thought we had lost the league in that game. Fortunately, Liverpool drew against Leicester and that gave us a little bit of hope. Then there was another draw against West Ham and that means the race is on. Mentally, it is a big boost for us. We will try to keep doing our job and don't relax as we did against Newcastle."

City's schedule had looked a problem as their progress in all cup competitions meant this was a league week packed with three tough fixtures - home to Arsenal, away to Everton and home to Chelsea - but they have already claimed six points from six. Silva feels their squad can cope with a four-front campaign.

"It is done, we have three points more and it puts a bit of pressure on, not just for Liverpool but for Tottenham as well. We have another game on Sunday and we don't have a lot of time to rest.

"The worst thing for us is having to wait to play, when you have seven days or 10 days between games. It is good to have lots of games as it means we are fighting for everything."

Jurgen Klopp's injury worries appear to be easing with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson returning to training last night, ahead of tomorrow's game against Bournemouth. (© Independent News Service)

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