Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Guardiola confirms he wanted Mahrez to take penalty

Guardiola confirms he wanted Mahrez to take penalty

That was really important to see it agains, to adjust a few things.

After a frantic opening phase when they struggled to get out of their own half, City were careful in possession without being over-committed, determined not to fall into the traps Klopp and Liverpool had set for them, and which they fell into, at Anfield last season. This was a more hard opportunity and he ended up scuffing his attempt, dragging it a couple of yards wide....

Guardiola admitted after the game that his team were deeper than usual as they controlled Liverpool's rapid forward line expertly. Yet it was an absorbing game and one that ended with both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola proving that they can organise a back four as well as a front three. We want to create but when you make a mistake - if it is an open game at Anfield, you don't even have one per cent of a chance. Today they weren't at their best.

But for the most part this was a game the fascination of which lay in how it defied expectation, two managers noted for their cavalier outlook adopting more pragmatic approaches and contriving to neuter both their opponents and themselves.

City are top on goal difference, with Chelsea second and Liverpool dropping to third, two points ahead of Arsenal, who routed Fulham 5-1 for their ninth successive win in all competitions. The Blues haven't lost a game at St Mary's in the Premier League since March 2013.

Their west London neighbors Chelsea have made an altogether more impressive start to the season and remain undefeated with nine wins from 11 competitive games this season.

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It has also been achieved, barring a couple of occasions, without scaling the exhilarating heights that saw teams blown away by a barrage of goals and attacking football on numerous occasions last season.

Reflecting on the match as a whole, Van Dijk continued: "Their defence did well".

Those worries are surely premature, with the intense nature of that run of games being sure to take a toll in the legs of a hard-running outfit at some point, and that aforementioned trip to Yorkshire starts off a more favourable run of fixtures the far side of the upcoming worldwide break. Aguero is City's usual penalty-taker, but he had been substituted, leading to an on-field discussion as to who would take it. We were close, more than ever to winning here but it is better than last season and we compete really really good.

"Those sorts of moments can go both ways in games".

"We have to start thinking about the players".

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