Pep Guardiola Makes Liverpool “Counter-pressing” Claim as the Man City Boss Reveals Anfield Fear After PL Draw

Under Pep Guardiola’s guidance, Manchester City endured an intense onslaught in the second half of the match at Anfield, ultimately securing a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola expressed fear that his Manchester City team could be swept by an “Anfield tsunami” during their intense Premier League encounter with Liverpool.

In a thrilling match that ended in a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon, Alexis Mac Allister leveled the score with a penalty shortly after half-time, canceling out John Stones’ first-half goal.

City had controlled the game in the first half, but Liverpool came back strongly after halftime, sparking controversy when Mac Allister seemed to be fouled by Jeremy Doku in injury time, with a penalty claim denied.

Guardiola, who has yet to secure a victory at Anfield in the presence of paying supporters, recognised the influence of the Liverpool fans.

“We spoke at half-time that in this stadium if you have to defend something you have to play and play and play,” said the City boss. “But sometimes you can’t because they are really good, they are the best team I ever seen in the high pressing.

“In the Etihad Stadium we were able to do it, in the last two games we were magnificent with our results… we drew there this season (against Liverpool) but we played really good.

“Here is completely different, we play in Anfield, the environment is a reality, the players know it, I know it, opponents know it. But we never tried to forget to play, knowing that somebody it is difficult.

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“We gave away the penalty, and sooner or later with this stadium you have 15 or 20 minutes and it looks like a tsunami, oh my God, coming for everybody who has the ball.

“After, when Mateo (Kovacic) came in you can make extra passes and that was the target, because they (Liverpool) are very strong in pressing and counter-pressing and in this stadium it is not easy.

“We never stopped trying to play and with Mateo and John and Phil and Rodri inside we had the quality to keep the ball like we couldn’t keep it before. They have their chances, we have our chances and at the end the game is what happened.”

Asked if the game lived up to expectations, Guardiola said: “I hope so. I think the games between both clubs have been similar for many years. We started really well, even before the goal we had chances. We played with huge personality.

“After the first half it is difficult because with Endo and Mac Allister they have extra passes and the quality to play – before, they were more direct – without losing how direct they can be in transitions.”

Kovacic was brought on during the second half to replace Kevin De Bruyne, prompting De Bruyne to express his dissatisfaction to Guardiola on the touchline.

But the City boss said: “Now he’s happy, no problem. I like it. If he’s upset, it’s good. I made the decision because I knew we missed keeping the ball and we could not have it with him and Bernardo and John, and after we did it better.

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“What can I say for Kevin? We need it and we need him and it’s really important. It’s a difficult place to come and he tried and in the first half he was incredibly involved in all the transitions and the shots and the corner. We know it.”

Before the weekend’s matches, Liverpool and City held the top two positions. However, Arsenal have since surpassed them, leading Liverpool on goal difference while City trail by a point.

And Guardiola said of the title race: “I know what defines the quality of what we have done, the five Premier Leagues out of six, is the quality of our opponent and this is our opponent for seven or eight years, not even one time did they drop.

“So today what we have done these years against that opponent, against Jurgen’s team, give more credit for what we have done. Arsenal last year came back and will stay for a long time because they are a young team with an exceptional manager.

“Still there are 10 games to go, 30 points to play for, one point difference. The important thing is we are there.”

In other Liverpool news, Jamie Carragher Slams One Liverpool Player for “K!lling” His Teammates’ Efforts v Manchester City

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