Man City v Liverpool: Guardiola laments how City slipped fourteen points lead


Pep Guardiola has branded Manchester City's 14-point lead over Liverpool earlier in the campaign as "fake"

Liverpool were trailing Manchester City by 11 points before the Reds 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 2.

The lead was extended to 14 points later in the month after the Citizens won against the Blues at the Etihad.

Jurgen Klopp's men, however, did have two games in hand on January 15, and City's draws with Southampton and Crystal Palace, either side of a mid-February defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, helped the Reds closed the gap to a one-point deficit, thanks to the Anfield club nine consecutive Premier League wins.

The Reds are now aiming to wrestle back the title they won in 2020 and are unbeaten in 2022. They've taken 31 points from 33 available since the New Year.

City's lead now stands at a slender one point heading into the weekend's game between the two sides at the Etihad. But Guardiola has branded the gap at the start of the calendar year as a false one.

"What is sure in Liverpool and City in the last few years, we raised the bar and raised the targets that the Premier League had before," he said. "The other teams realised they had to push more if they wanted to chase us. In the last five or six years, one year we were a little bit out, last year they had injuries and United was there. Both teams for five or six years we were there, both teams, fighting.

"I'm going to tell you something: Fourteen points, it was fake. You were wrong. We played two more games [than Liverpool]. Fake. It was not a mistake. After analysing the games we dropped points - Crystal Palace, especially Southampton - we were brilliant, more than brilliant.

"We were not effective, we were not clinical, but we were brilliant. We won 1-4 against Southampton in the FA Cup. We were miles away worse than the game where we drew 1-1 when we could've won 1-4. But it's football. Unpredictable.

"But the way we played, the way we created chances in both games, the same at Crystal Palace - we were amazing the way we played, but it's football.

"When we were 14 points ahead of Liverpool, even myself, I could not believe it because I know the incredible opponent we have to face. One of the best teams in Europe.

"I lived this situation when I was in Barcelona; always Madrid, sometimes Atletico, but normally Barcelona and [Real] Madrid. Here it's always five or six teams, but in the last five years, two. This is the reality in the Premier League. It shows the consistency and structure both teams had.

"I understand people talking about Liverpool. I'm pretty sure all the people will be watching that game. It will be two teams at the top of the league trying to win the Premier League."

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