It had little to no effect on the makeup of the Premier League table, but it had a major impact on one of the game’s most prominent managers.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, with a massive smile on his face, labeled the 1-1 draw with Liverpool “one of the most special days of my life” and gushed about his team’s ability to bounce back from its elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Monaco.
“Normally, when two teams want to win, that happens in football and it’s fantastic,” Guardiola said after the game. “When one team just wants to make travels and just defend, football is complicated. So congratulations to Liverpool, and of course Manchester City. It’s one of the days I am proud the most.”
The match featured gobs of attacking play, with each team missing big opportunities to build the scoreline. Guardiola was all smiles after the match, and joked around with both the referees and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in the aftermath at the Etihad.
Guardiola praised his team’s ability to return from such a painful result midweek and put on a positive display, rambling in run-on sentences as he tried to piece together in words how happy he was with his squad. “It’s one of the most special days of my life because the defeat on Wednesday was so tough for us, and to recover how we recovered today with this mentality to play and attack and attack…we could not attack more often because Liverpool is a top top team, and how they run in the last minutes when they rest all week and we were there just three or four days [ago] resignation for qualify for the quarterfinals [of the Champions League].”
“Of course the battle to qualify for the Champions League will go until the final day.”
Guardiola felt they dominated the match and claimed that Manchester City “created more, conceded few, but we do not win.” He said that the players took the Champions League elimination hard, but responded so well. “The players, in the training session they didn’t speak, and for them to react the way they reacted against Liverpool means a lot to me.”
“There are a lot of players here with problems, and yesterday and today they said to doctors, ‘I want to play I want to play.’ Nobody dismissed, nobody said ‘I am a little tired I do not want to play’ when normally that’s happened. All of them they want to play, and they showed it today.”