Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that he loves Riyad Mahrez and didn’t start the Algerian because they needed something different upfront against Liverpool. The forward came off the bench and had a crucial chance to hand City the win but couldn’t find the net in the dying minutes.
With Manchester City facing Liverpool, many believed that the title would be decided on Sunday as with only seven games left in the season, the two were the only ones left in the race. However, despite four goals scored on the night, the two sides shared the spoils as while City took the lead twice, Liverpool managed to find equalisers on both occasions. But the Cityzens were the dominant side in the first half but somehow the Reds hung on.
Things did change in the second half as the game became slightly more level although Riyad Mahrez, who didn’t start, had a big chance in the dying minutes. The Algerian was fed in by Kevin De Bruyne but decided to chip Alisson, sending his effort over both keeper and crossbar. Yet despite that, Pep Guardiola praised the forward and admitted that while he loves the 31-year-old, they needed something different against Liverpool from their front-three.
“I’m in love with Riyad [Mahrez]; he is an incredible player and person. Today [Sunday], we thought we needed a different quality upfront. We will need him until the end. I’m really happy with the way we played. We played well [in the] first half, it was tough for 10 minutes in the second half, but that is normal when you concede,” Guardiola said, reported Goal.
“They have quality and a lot of threats, but we performed well. It is football, these things happen. How many managers say, ‘in the last minutes, we can’t concede’, we can concede until the referee blows the whistle.”