Liverpool won a thrilling duel with Manchester City on Sunday 3-1 (2-0) for themselves and is lonely at the top of the table: Twelve season games, eleven victories, no defeat – and already nine points clear of defending City.
Premier League: Liverpool beat ManCity
Season-wide, the Reds have been unbeaten in 29 league games, they had lost in early January, then away at ManCity.
The Sky Blues with national player Ilkay Gundogan slipped to fourth place this weekend, with Leicester City and Chelsea passing with victories.
"It's still seven months, but if Liverpool were to win the title in the end, I'll congratulate them first and tell them how good they were, but we fight to the end," said Pep Guardiola after the game.
Jurgen Klopp enthusiastic about both teams
Jurgen Klopp was impressed by the pace during the match: "It was so hard to play, the intensity of the game was to be expected, everything was worth it, really great". In addition, the Liverpool coach was proud of the performance of his team: "The guys were totally focused and focused, it was so good."
But Klopp also had praise for opponents ManCity: "They were good, oh, they were so good and we had to defend with everything we had, but we scored incredible goals."
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Fabinho (6th) and Mohamed Salah (13th) gave the brutally effective Liverpoolers a blast start, Sadio Mane (51st) defeated in the second half of a high-class top match.
Despite numerous chances only Bernardo Silva (78.) met for Manchester. For Klopp it was the ninth victory (two draws) in the 18th duel with Guardiola.
"In football, you can not always win," said Guardiola after the match: "I'm so proud that my team has played in this way in this stadium."
In front of 53,324 spectators at Anfield, the Spaniard had ordered his team extreme pressing. In the initial phase City pressed the hosts into their own half, also seemed equal goal threat – but was caught cold.
Early double shock for ManCity by Fabinho and Salah
Gundogan inadequately cleared a cross, Fabinho hit the ball centrally to score the lead 20 yards out.
Guardiola then complained loudly and demanded a penalty: Seconds before Fabinho's goal was Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk the ball jumped in his own penalty area in the hand.
"That was a clear handball," said the German international after the match Sky,
"Ask the referees, do not ask me, ask Mike Riley and the VAR guys," Guardiola said after the match, "I want to talk about our performance, it was so good, it was one of the best Services we have ever shown. "
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City was still hardly impressed and pressed on, in the following minutes, the master came to good opportunities by Raheem Sterling (9) and Sergio Aguero (12). And then ran into the next counterattack: full-back Andrew Robertson flanked strong from the half-field, Salah hit from full speed head.
Liverpool led 2-0 after the second chance and City continued to give away numerous opportunities. Aguero failed to Reds goalkeeper Alisson, Angelino on the post, at the break, the guests had earned at least one goal.
"After the second goal, of course, it was hard, but I still think we played very well and have dominated it in phases, but the attack by Liverpool is always capable of creating something," said Gundogan.
After the break, the same picture was immediately available: Klopp's team used the first opportunity for the 3-0. Jordan Henderson's cross landed on Manes head as Citys substitute goalkeeper Claudio Bravo blew the ball. The Chilean replaced regular keeper Ederson, who was missing because of muscular problems.
Bernardo's hit once again made for a hectic rush, but even then City left some chances. Finally Gundogan summed up: "We have lost today and we must accept that".