Manchester City were so, so good at Anfield - Guardiola
Pep Guardiola maintained his Manchester City side played well despite crashing to the 3-0 Champions League defeat against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.
City will seal the Premier League title if they beat rivals Manchester United in Saturday's derby at the Etihad Stadium, although discussion of their midweek humbling in the first leg of a quarter-final tie still occupied plenty of time in Guardiola's Friday news conference.
Goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane gave Jurgen Klopp's effervescent side a handsome lead inside 31 minutes, but, even as they struggled against the Red tide, Guardiola was happy with his players' efforts.
"I reviewed the game against Liverpool They played like they always play at Anfield. The last 15-20 minutes of the first half they were much better than us," he said.
"In the first 25 minutes and in the second half we were so, so good. We played a good game.
"We played with a huge personality. I am so proud. I know how difficult it is going to Anfield, with five Champions Leagues in their pocket, going in their stadium when they believe they are so strong.
"Two times they crossed the halfway line and score two goals. That is so complicated mentally. That is why we suffered.
"But in the second half we were good, we were not so clinical. We did a good game. Even in the bad moments, we were good."
As such, the Catalan tactician is not ready to give up entirely on the hope of an improbable comeback in next week's second leg on home turf.
"It was a tough result. It will be so difficult for next Tuesday but, of course, we are going to try," he said.
"We will have our chance to be in the game to try to go through.
"Immediately after the game against United we are going to think to recover the players as much as possible to play with our fans, our people in our stadium to create a good rhythm, a good game to put them under pressure.
"They are almost qualified for the semi-finals but we have 90 minutes. The door is almost closed but also a little, little bit open. Maybe there are some spaces to get in. We are going to try."