Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions have started the new season in good form, and are top of the table heading into tomorrow's clash with title rivals Liverpool. For both teams it was really intense, and both showed respect for the other team.
Guardiola did not blame Mahrez for missing the penalty - which was blazed high above the bar - but did apologise to Gabriel Jesus for not allowing him to take it. I said it to the referee as well, it should have happened, but obviously very happy that we didn't concede.
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"He [Mahrez] is deflated", said John Stones to Sky Sports after the 0-0 draw. "In that situation they are much better than us".
That incident brought late drama, but after the thrills of the four meetings last season, this was something of an anti-climax.
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"It's important to get that base, because if it's up and down quickly they are much, much better-they are maybe the best team in the world running these transitions, offensive-defensively". The Champions League exit to the Reds in April was one of the rare occasions when the City boss has chosen to try to tame the opposition, rather than steamroller them using his own attacking principles.
Speaking about Mahrez, he said: "He had the courage and the balls to take the penalty, in training he shoots flawless penalties but sometimes it happens".
"We controlled it with Riyad, the guy who could give the extra pass; Bernardo in the middle, to give you an extra pass".
Liverpool's over-riding emotions after this draw will be relief at the reprieve handed to them by Mahrez's wayward penalty and delight that they still remain unbeaten after eight Premier League games, which have included visits to Spurs and Chelsea and a home game with Manchester City.
"I'm playing good football because we are playing good football".
"He had the courage and the balls to hit the penalty".
"If we played quickly, they are better than us".
Guardiola continued: "The reason why last time he didn't play was for other reasons: tactical".