Guardiola tells Man City players: Blame me for Liverpool pen

Guardiola says his team are not built to defend with men behind the ball

This, as Guardiola explained after the game, was part of City's game plan, with the visitors looking to stymie Liverpool's swift counter-attacking play after losing twice at Anfield last season.

Key Stat: Trent Alexander-Arnold has been carded three times in seven Premier League games this season.

With they way the match has ended, it's a question that will remain unanswered.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Wednesday's disappointing defeat by Napoli could boost his side's chances of beating City. The bar is set higher, the margin for error is miniscule.

The three completed matches of the 8th round of the championship of England football.

Liverpool's home form in the Premier League and their excellent recent results against Manchester City explain their status as slight favourites here. It led to Anfield being shrouded in a cloak of caution.

It has become something of an insult in the modern game to accuse a team of "parking the bus" when they emerge with their goal unbreached and intact. "Maybe we need two penalties to score one goal". It is for both teams it was really intense and both showed respect for the other team. "Don't lose the ball in the wrong moment, otherwise you have big problems". "Both teams did well". Hopefully he will be here for a long time with us, so he will go many times to Anfield.

Who are the youngest and oldest players in the Manchester City squad?

Joining City and Liverpool is Chelsea, winners on Sunday over Southampton 3-0. You can get three points or one point or no points.

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Guardiola said: "If it is an open game at Anfield, you don't even have one percent of a chance". "We control it through Riyad (Mahrez), Bernardo (Silva), the guys to give the extra pass". Up and down they are the best team in the world in these transitions. We used the ball better.

Guardiola did not want his side to be undone by the bloodying red attacking blurs that have come to define and decide these fixtures and admitted he meant to oversee a match of attrition rather than attacking splendour.

However, with Guardiola short of options at the back with auxiliary left-back Fabian Delph also ruled out by injury, Mendy has been given the chance to make amends. "It looks like they are in a good shape", said Klopp. "Of course Liverpool fans want him to play bad, and he doesn't want to play bad, he wants to play good", said Guardiola. "He has probably carried City for a lot of years with his goals".

Liverpool, over the first two months of the season at least, have emerged as the most potent challengers to City's hopes of retaining the Premier League title won in such spectacular fashion last season. It is also understood the team will take a different, as yet undisclosed, route.

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

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino only had two touches in the City penalty area - and only 21 in total. That was really important to see it agains, to adjust a few things.

Guardiola continued: "The reason why last time he didn't play was for other reasons: tactical".

"I think Sergio has proved it now and I can assure you, having played against him when I was at Tottenham, he's a nightmare - a complete nightmare to play against". Salah remains an excellent player and will score goals in the future.

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