Pep Guardiola: Title race would be over had Manchester City not won

Pep Guardiola: Title race would be over had Manchester City not won

"We can now focus on the City game".

Guardiola said that even if City lost all three of their next matches, he would not waver from the high-pressing, fast-passing principles with which he has made his reputation as a coach.

"The thing is about the difference in the Champions League game is they obviously had to win by four goals or whatever so they had to come out", he said.

It was they, after all, who ended a similarly impressive run from City last January, beating them 4-3 at Anfield just as Guardiola's side were being talked about as "invincibles".

"I'm protecting my teammates and that's normal, that's how everyone should react and that's what we all need to do, to back each other".

Liverpool are now unbeaten after the first 19 games of the Premier League season.

"Given the position of Liverpool, [if] we drop points, it's over, it's finished - it would be nearly impossible", Guardiola said.

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Cardiff City aren't good defensively, either - they've conceded 38 goals already this season.

"I can not answer if he will be available for Thursday".

This approach proved effective against Manchester United, where an early blitz overwhelmed the Red Devils and stifled their attacking play.

"They'll be looking at it that they can close the gap to four points, which isn't as big", he told reporters.

A win for Liverpool would see them extend their advantage at the top to 10 points, but defender Andrew Robertson warned that City would be pushing Liverpool all the way until May. This is Arsenal. They're flat-track bullies, they'll beat the lesser teams all day long. "It's about continuing that and trying to build on every game that we play".

Liverpool fans can take heart from this as well as the fact that Jurgen Klopp's men are showing no signs of slowing down. "One of our best performances of the season", Robertson says. "Liverpool is not going to give us this amount of chances". Both clubs have momentum behind them going into this game which could be instrumental in deciding who will ultimately lift the Premier League trophy this season.

"The red card was the worst moment of the evening; it hurts us a lot, it's a silly tackle when the game is gone". This loss we can use to be better.

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