Mahrez miss leaves City, Liverpool and Chelsea all level at top

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It led to Anfield being shrouded in a cloak of caution.

"I'm just playing good football because we are playing good football", he said. They will have their moments, but I thought we defended them brilliant - apart from the penalty and one or two situations, where we needed Alisson with a really good save. "I want to keep doing it and keep everyone happy". Don't lose the ball in risky positions because when you lose the ball there they counterattack with [Roberto] Firmino, [Sadio] Mané and [Mohamed] Salah.

"For both teams it was really intense, and both showed respect for the other team".

Guardiola is the purists' purist - the manager who will never sacrifice the principles forged at Barcelona and put into further practice at Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.

Anfield has not been a kind ground for Manchester City to visit in the Premier League, having last won a match at the home of Liverpool in May 2003, and it is set to continue that way.

City have not won on Merseyside in the league in 15 years and their terrible record continued over the weekend.

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane weren't at their best once again, with there still questions lingering over their form after 11 games in all competitions this season.

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It was a rare blemish on a magnificent season - but this time Guardiola was determined not to let it happen again and prepared his approach accordingly and with a large measure of success that nearly brought three points.

"A clean sheet at Anfield is not something you can do very often". "We control it through Riyad, Bernardo, the guys to give the extra pass". They are maybe, no, they are the best team in the world in these transitions, offensive, defensive, there is no team better in the world than that.

The 24-year-old said: "We can do more here".

Guardiola admitted after the game that his team were deeper than usual as they controlled Liverpool's rapid forward line expertly.

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.

The top-of-the-table clash failed to live up to its billing with both sides, the top two Premier League scorers last season, nearly reluctant to commit to full attacking mode for fear of what the other team might do to them if they opened up too much.

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.