Pep: Liverpool clash was like a final!

Manchester City beat Liverpool to pull back into the Premier League title race

Manchester City beat Liverpool to pull back into the Premier League title race

The scenes at the final whistle spoke of belief restored, of confidence rebuilt after that recent wobble of three losses in four league games, and of the expected consequences of inflicting the first league defeat on a Liverpool team threatening to sweep all before it. The goal gave Liverpool new life and put the pressure back on City.

Manchester City earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory and it means they climb to second in the table, which leaves them just four points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

NBC Sports network will broadcast Manchester City vs Liverpool.

Roberto Firmino leveled things for the visitors with a diving header at the back post in the second half of a pulsating encounter, before German winger Leroy Sane won it for City with his superb low finish on 72 minutes.

Dejan Lovren set the tone with a heavy challenge on Aguero early on and Vincent Kompany was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after a risky first-half lunge on Mohamed Salah.

"The game was a real game for both sides, two incredible teams", Guardiola said.

"They cleared well and we hit the post".

Manchester City's defence is not lacking in investment though and shouldn't need to rely on such a safety net.

Without a recognised left-back, Guardiola was forced to shuffle his team, moving Aymeric Laporte to the role.

The win took them to within four points of the Reds on a crucial evening in the Premier League title race.

A moment in Amazon's "All or Nothing" documentary, which had brilliant behind the scenes access, showed that ahead of that Champions League game Guardiola was so concerned about Liverpool he spoke about them ahead of a game against Everton.

Sturridge initially joined Liverpool from Chelsea in 2013 and his best scoring season for the Reds came during the 2013-14 campaign, when he managed 24 goals in all competitions.

Jurgen Klopp's third season at Borussia Dortmund (BVB) comes calling - he led BVB to the Bundesliga title with a historic point haul of 81 (the highest ever point amassed at the time). Liverpool boasts of the best record against the Premier League's top five sides.

Liverpool and City were even on points then, and in retrospect it shouldn't have been surprising that what was always going to be a cagey contest ended scoreless.

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