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'A good advert for the Premier League all around the world'

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp compared his side's thrilling 2-2 draw against Manchester City on Sunday to a slugfest between two prize fighters, saying neither side could afford to drop their guard for a single second.

Kevin De Bruyne fired champions City into a fifth-minute lead at the Etihad Stadium but Diogo Jota levelled eight minutes later for the second-placed Reds.

Gabriel Jesus restored City's advantage before the break but Sadio Mane marked his 30th birthday with a second equaliser for Klopp's men.

Raheem Sterling thought he had put City ahead for a third time against his former club but VAR ruled against him in a tight offside decision and substitute Riyad Mahrez fired over late on.

The result ended Liverpool's 10-match winning league run and left City a point clear with just seven games of the season remaining.

"What a game," Klopp told Sky Sports. "Wild. Better start for City, but you can describe it a little bit like a boxing fight. Both arms down for a second and you get a massive knock.

"You can shake a little bit and then the next knock is coming from the other team. I liked a lot of things, when we played simple passes we were really dangerous and that's how we scored the goals. It was a great game and the right result. The result we have to live with it, and can live with it."

Liverpool appear to have the more difficult run-in but Klopp added: "We will not stop chasing. That's clear, but now we have two different competitions before we start the Premier League again -- and then see who has the better finish."

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their first goal with Raheem Sterling Action Images via Reuters

Pep Guardiola said City had no margin for error in defending their one-point lead over Liverpool.

"Seven games left, we have to win all of them or it will be over," said the City boss. "We are going to play for that.

"It was a good advert for the Premier League all around the world. I had a feeling that we let them (stay) alive, but Liverpool is a joy to watch.

"I know their threats up front and how difficult they are. We performed really well and I'm so incredibly proud of my team. But we knew before the game win, lose or draw it (title race) was not over."

City midfielder De Bruyne knows pundits will make his team favourites to win the title for a fourth time in five seasons.

"I know people said whoever wins gets the title. But I don't think the teams think that way, the schedule is way too tough for both teams to win all their games," De Bruyne said.

Belgian international De Bruyne felt City did enough to take all three points, which would have been a hammer blow to Liverpool.

"Today we played very well, I think we had the upper hand. This is the way we need to play the rest of the season," he said.

"We should score more. It is what it is. It was a great game. I think it should be more before half-time but we were still winning.

"The way the second half started is the disappointment. I think we played great and created enough chances to win the game."

Liverpool

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson conceded his team need City to stumble in the final weeks and urged the Reds to keep up the pressure.

"They don't drop many points of course, but we've got to concentrate on ourselves and win as many games as possible," Henderson said.

"If they do slip up we've got to be there right behind them."

The Reds were on a 10-game winning run in the league before City halted that blistering streak.

Henderson hailed Liverpool's refusal to surrender after City appeared set to claim a crucial victory following De Bruyne and Jesus's goals.

"It was an intense game. We wanted to come here and give it everything to get the win," he said.

"Unfortunately we didn't do that, but at the same time we didn't lose the game. We're still in the race, so it's positives and negatives.

"It's pleasing to come back twice from being behind, shows a lot of character to do that here.

"We got our goals, but at other times we could have defended better."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola REUTERS/

Published : April 11, 2022

By : THE NATION