Pep Guardiola: Riyad Mahrez had the balls to take the penalty

Dean Simpson
October 8, 2018

The blessed relief of a last-gasp penalty miss saw Liverpool play out a scoreless draw against the visiting Manchester City at Anfield this evening and finish out the last in a punishing run of fixtures that saw them play seven games in 22 days.

Riyad Mahrez is "deflated" after missing a late penalty in Manchester City's 0-0 draw with Liverpool, revealed team-mate John Stones.

A message appeared to come from the City bench for Mahrez to take the spot-kick instead of Gabriel Jesus.

City were still looking for attacking options but this was more conservative and easily the most assured display a Guardiola side has given at Anfield, having also lost to Liverpool on New Year's Eve 2016.

"During the training sessions, I see [Mahrez] every time taking penalties and it gives me a lot of confidence". It will be a good experience for him. They are right. So we won the Premier League.

Mourinho has strangled the life out of games at Anfield a few times and been condemned for it, but Guardiola now appears to have taken a leaf out of the United manager's book by accepting that tactics need to be altered for games like these.

Last season, the three forwards played 150 games in all competitions scoring a remarkable 91 goals, with Salah getting 44, Firmino 27 and Mane 20.

After starting the season with seven straight victories Liverpool have now failed to win in any of their past four matches as the upcoming global break comes at the right time for Jurgen Klopp's men.

The first shot on target came from City's Mahrez in the 62nd minute, followed by one from Liverpool's Mo Salah 35 seconds later.

However, he had no complaints over referee Martin Atkinson awarding the spot-kick after Virgil van Dijk tripped Leroy Sane.

WORST PLAYER - It's harsh because Van Dijk hadn't done too much wrong in the match up until the penalty, but it was a awful decision to bring down Leroy Sane, one that could have cost his side the game.

In Brazilians Alisson and Ederson, these clubs have two of the best keepers in the Premier League, and I expect them to have busy afternoons. But sometimes it is simply a failure - or reluctance - to acknowledge the part of the game that is crucial for any team with aspirations of winning major honours. "It shouldn't happen, but obviously very happy we didn't concede".

"I'm playing good football because we are playing good football".

The Premier League clash finished goalless, meaning City, Liverpool and Chelsea are joint-top of the table going into the second worldwide break of the season. If would have defended today like we did against Napoli, it is 7-0.

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