PEP GUARDIOLA claimed Manchester City let rivals Liverpool off the hook in their title fight.
Kop boss Jurgen Klopp said yesterday’s showdown was like a “heavyweight boxing match” – but City failed to land the decisive KO blow in a thriller.
The champions remain a point clear with just seven games left and Klopp said: “We can describe it like a heavyweight boxing match. Put both arms down for a second and you’ll get a massive punch.
“You can tremble a bit, then the next knock comes from the other team.
“What a game. Wild. The intensity of the game was just insane.
“It was such a great game and a result that we have to live with – and can live with.”
Kevin De Bruyne put City ahead in the fifth minute, which Diogo Jota canceled out eight minutes later.
Gabriel Jesus restored the home side’s advantage – but Kop birthday man Sadio Mane equalized less than a minute after the restart.
When rival Klopp told him he compared the match to boxing, City boss Guardiola said: “Pretty similar. He likes that. He likes his punching games.
“I felt like we gave them a life – it was a missed opportunity.
“I watched the punches, we attack. They attack with our guns and that’s good for football.
“When you do a lot of good things, the sadness is there, but I just said, ‘Forget it.’
“We played incredibly well and unfortunately couldn’t win.
“It was good publicity for the Premier League. It was a fantastic game and both teams tried to win.
“Liverpool are such a joy to watch, I know the threats they have and how good they are.
“But we played really well and I’m so proud of my team.”
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Former Liverpool ace Raheem Sterling thought he’d won it at the Etihad – only to be denied by the closest VAR offside calls.
And Klopp admitted: “We were lucky. It was offside but I heard it was a tiny margin.
The Reds boss warned his team will need to be close to perfect if they want to win the title from here.
He added: “Yeah, I think that’s probably right. We knew in January if we wanted to win we had to win 18 games.
“If there was one we could draw, it’s today.
“Now there are seven games left and we won’t stop chasing.”
A game is canceled and we don’t become champions
Guardiola added: “Lost a game and we won’t become champions.
“Now, in all competitions, we know that if we fall, we will miss something.
“But they also have to win all their games. It’s not over. I would say the same with defeat or victory.
“We know what we have to do. I don’t know what will happen.”
City goalscorer De Bruyne said: “I felt like we had the upper hand but didn’t win.
“So we have to play our games until the end of the season.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5096079/pep-guardiola-man-city-let-liverpool-off-heavyweight/ Pep Guardiola says Man City let Liverpool off the hook as the Reds step off the canvas to pull heavyweight title slugfest