Guardiola was unaware of Mahrez's rotten run from the penalty spot

Irene MckinneyOct 08, 2018

Pep Guardiola has called on Liverpool fans to live up to their traditional friendly reputation as Manchester City prepare to travel to Anfield tomorrow. It was pretty surprising to see him take it, considering David Silva and Gabriel Jesus were on the field, and his recent trend of misses make you question why he took it. "I don't know because we haven't spoken about it". It will be good experience for him, next time it will go in.

"I have a little break now, the players don't, they go to internationals", he told Sky Sports.

And although manager Klopp acknowledged Liverpool were ultimately lucky, he is delighted with their standing heading into the worldwide break.

Sunday's 0-0 draw at Anfield, however, was a drab affair that only came to life in the closing stages.

Everyone was expecting goals when Liverpool and Manchester City met on Sunday afternoon. We controlled much better than in the past, and with the second balls, on which they are masters.

Mahrez has now missed five of his last eight Premier League penalties but Guardiola admitted during a TV interview that he was not aware of his poor record from the spot.

But for the most part this was a game the fascination of which lay in how it defied expectation, two managers noted for their cavalier outlook adopting more pragmatic approaches and contriving to neuter both their opponents and themselves.

After a frantic opening phase when they struggled to get out of their own half, City were careful in possession without being over-committed, determined not to fall into the traps Klopp and Liverpool had set for them, and which they fell into, at Anfield last season. "In the training session he shoots ideal penalties, and ok this sometimes happens so at the end it is what it is".

That's not how they usually do things, at all, but such are the fine margins this season, it proves how much respect they have for one another. "If you play City you have to be 100 percent spot on and confident". They now sit level at the top of table, with Chelsea, on 20 points after eight games of the season.

With a place at the top of the Premier League before the global break at stake, the pressure was on Liverpool to make a statement win, however in truth they were fortunate to draw.

"I'm playing good football because we are playing good football". More fundamentally, the Egyptian has lost his touch in front of goal.

But the Egyptian again looked far from his best and snatched at the sort of chances he buried last season.

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