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Guardiola was unaware of Mahrez's rotten run from the penalty spot

08 October, 2018, 12:58 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • Riyad Mahrez

So why didn't the season's biggest Premier League game, between two sides unbeaten so far, produce the excitement anticipated? We were close, more than ever to winning here but it is better than last season and we compete really really good. We controlled much better than in the past, and with the second balls, on which they are masters.

'[Riyad] had the courage and the balls to take the penalty, in training he shoots flawless penalties but sometimes it happens, ' he said.

"The boys unfortunately go away again now and have to play Nations League games - the most senseless competition in the world of football!" It is so hard to defend so I am really happy how we did it.

They slowed the game down to draw Liverpool's sting and silence the usually feverish Anfield crowd, which was quiet for long periods, keeping possession in deep positions. Up and down they are the best team in the world in these transitions.

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After Fernandinho blasted an ambitious long-range effort high and wide of the right post in the 58th minute, Mahrez collected David Silva's through-ball on the left and went past Andrew Robertson before fizzing a low shot inches wide of the target from 12 yards out on 61 minutes. As former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness observed after the game, all three have their qualities as team players but none of them possess the vision or flair to make a difference in an attacking sense. That is why I have so much credit for what we have done. Both back fours bossed their area of the pitch and ensured their teams earned a valuable point, so praise them for it rather than muttering about negativity and "parking the bus". "We had our chance". We know how complicated it is playing in this stadium and how risky they are. They are incredibly quick and we controlled them outstandingly, but we didn't create too much.

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.

"But during the training sessions I see (Mahrez) taking the penalties and it gives me a lot of confidence". We had a little setback on Wednesday. Only a few minutes had elapsed when the Manchester City manager raised his hands to his head as if anticipating the same throaty roar of celebration at Anfield that he has come to dread.

"I would not like to speak about the referees, about the decisions", Guardiola said. "If we had defended like we did against Napoli today, it's a 7-0".

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