Guardiola urges City to learn from Anfield pain

Guardiola urges City to learn from Anfield pain

Guardiola's side saw their 30-match unbeaten run in the Premier League come to a stunning end at Anfield on Sunday.

The leaders fell behind to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's early opener and although Leroy Sane equalised before half-time, City were blown away by three goals in nine second half minutes from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Although late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan put a flattering gloss on the scoresheet, City boss Guardiola had no complaints about his side's first league defeat since April 5 at Chelsea.

It was City's first domestic defeat since an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal on April 23.

Conceding that all the talk of City winning the title at a canter and possibly going unbeaten throughout the entire season made it hard to keep his players motivated, the Spaniard said: "In every press conference for the last few months you have said that the Premier League is done.

I always said no. It is still to be done. Sometimes the worse thing is when people say from one month ago that it is over.

It's so difficult to maintain this run, especially against good teams like Liverpool.

Football is an unpredictable game. We have to fight until the end to win the league.

Guardiola admitted City had lost their composure in the second half after being rattled by Liverpool's relentless pressing and the ferocious Anfield atmosphere.

We lost a lot of balls. Liverpool are so aggressive without the ball and we had little bit of a problem to control that," he said.

We started the second half good until the goal from Firmino. After that we lost our control and we become involved in the environment at Anfield.

Although City's lead at the top can be cut to 12 points if second placed Manchester United beat Stoke on Monday, they remain firm favourites for the title.

Guardiola, who will be without defender Fabian Delph for several weeks after his first half injury, believes City will use their Anfield frustration to bounce back in their next game against Newcastle.

Now we must be positive, analyse why we lost and look to the game against Newcastle," said Guardiola, who refused to reveal if he is still in the hunt to sign Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez.

It's never good news to lose, but when you lose it's important not to lose again.

We have a young team and maybe it can be good for the future.

I've won a lot of titles and always I've dropped points on the way.

For Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp the victory was a cathartic moment after City thrashed his team 5-0 earlier this season.

It was also significant because it proved Liverpool can still thrive without Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho, who got his wish to join Barcelona earlier this month.

To score four in the week after Phil Coutinho leaves the club is a very big statement," Klopp said.

It's not like we held a meeting and said 'guys can you win today because then no-one will talk about Phil.

But of course it was important to show it's possible to play well without him.

Unlike the rest of the Premier League this season, Liverpool found the formula to knock City out of their stride.

Klopp believes the game -- undoubtedly one of the best in England this term -- showed the need to be fearless when facing a team of City's class.

Maybe it was a historical game, it could be the only one they lose in the entire season," Klopp said.

They are so strong but I really think we deserved it. You need to be brave, you need to play football.

You can sit in your box and hope they don't score but that's not really likely.

We are Liverpool, so we shouldn't play that way. We have to attack. There is no alternative against City.

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Spurs chief says Kane, Alli not for sale

Spurs chief says Kane, Alli not for sale

Mauricio Pochettino's side are currently out of the Champions League places, although they can draw level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool if they win at Wembley and overtake Jurgen Klopp's side if they beat the Toffees by five goals or more.

But the club have a new 61,500-seat stadium to pay for at a time when rivals with deeper pockets are eyeing some of their top performers.

Top scorer Kane is reportedly coveted by Real Madrid and the Champions League holders have also been linked with midfielder Alli, along with Paris Saint-Germain. Left-back Danny Rose is believed to be a target for Manchester United.

But Levy has made it clear that the current window is a time for squad-strengthening, not weakening, and said he would reject any unwanted offers in the summer as well.

I'm 100 per cent confident," he said. Every single player that we want to keep, I can assure you will be playing for Tottenham Hotspur next season.

Mauricio's strategy has always been that if an opportunity arises that he thinks can improve the squad then we will need to look at it, but January is always a very difficult window.

Levy is in negotiations with Alli over a new contract that would bring him roughly into line with the money paid to Kane, who is Tottenham's highest earner and who may be granted a contract upgrade himself soon.

Midfielder Harry Winks is a doubt against Everton because of an ankle injury, Rose is set to miss out because of a knee problem while centre-back Toby Alderweireld is working his way towards a comeback from a hamstring tear sustained in early November.

The encouraging start to Sam Allardyce's reign as Everton manager has faded in recent weeks. The Toffees have not won in five matches and are out of the FA Cup following a painful third-round defeat at Liverpool last week.

Defender Mason Holgate was involved in a confrontation with Roberto Firmino at Anfield that could have consequences for both players.

Having claimed he was racially abused by the Liverpool striker, Holgate himself is reportedly facing the prospect of Football Association action for alleged homophobic tweets sent from a now-deleted Twitter account more than five years ago.

There is better news elsewhere for Allardyce, with right-back Seamus Coleman back in training after nine months out with a broken leg and Turkey striker Cenk Tosun set for his debut after completing his £27 million ($36 million, 30 million euros) move from Besiktas.

Captain Phil Jagielka has acknowledged that Everton have to be better in attack, saying: "The gaffer does not say to us that the be all and end all is to defend and we forget about going forward.

He wants us to cause problems for the teams we play against. It is up to us to find a mixture of both defensive resolve and attacking purpose.

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Coutinho completes dream Barcelona move

Coutinho completes dream Barcelona move

The Brazilian signed a five-year contract in a ceremony sitting alongside Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, making him the third-most expensive player in history.

It's an honour for me, a great honour, but also a dream to be here," Coutinho said after posing on the Camp Nou pitch in a Barcelona shirt.

I have my goals; to get here, to be happy, win titles and have fun -- I only think about that.

Minutes before the midfielder put pen to paper after a whirlwind few days, the club said a thigh injury would delay his debut until the end of January.

The runaway La Liga leaders also claimed that Liverpool had cut their original asking price from 200 million euros, after a long-running transfer saga dating back to the summer window.

Due to a contractual issue and due to Liverpool's desire, we cannot provide the exact figures, but there has been a very significant reduction (in price)," said Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre.

Barca's swoop for Coutinho is outranked only by Paris Saint-Germain's stunning world record 222 million-euro signing of Neymar from Barcelona last year, and the Paris club's capture of French striker Kylian Mbappe in a deal which will be worth 180 million euros when the teenager completes his initial loan deal later this year.

Coutinho's arrival will help Barcelona move on from the humiliation of losing Neymar, and his presence alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will help take the pressure off another of the club's stars, 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta.

But the Brazilian international insisted he would not be replacing Neymar or Iniesta in Ernesto Valverde's side.

Neymar is a huge player. But we have different characteristics and I've come here to find my space," Coutinho said.

I spoke with him. He told me about the city, the players and told me that this club has an amazing dressing room.

Iniesta, for me, is a genius. What I like most is being in the group and being able to play, the rest is a question for the coach.

Bartomeu said the club had secured "one of the stars of world football" and admitted that Liverpool had put up a fight to keep the player.

It was not easy and other clubs expressed an interest in him, but he was determined to come here," the president said.

Barcelona made three bids for Coutinho last year, but Liverpool stood firm.

In the end, the lure of a huge profit on a player they paid just £8. 5 million for when he joined from Inter Milan in 2013 proved too strong for the English club.

Coach Valverde predicted Coutinho will comfortably fit into his star-studded team, and he could now make his debut at home to Alaves on January 28.

Coutinho played with Suarez for 18 months at Liverpool before the Uruguayan made the same move to Spain in 2014.

It's an honour to be able to play with him (Suarez) again," Coutinho added.

He's helped me a lot, wrote to me a lot and explained to me about the club and city. He even visited a few houses for me! He's a very close friend.

Valverde admitted that it would be a challenge to find a position for Coutinho, with the Spanish title looking a formality and the player cup-tied for the Champions League.

I have seen him play in various positions -- on the right, the left, in the middle, on the wings," said Valverde.

He is likely to be used to give Iniesta a rest, keeping the veteran midfielder fresh for the Champions League as Barcelona seek to wrest the trophy back from bitter rivals Real Madrid.

Rio-born Coutinho scored 54 goals for Liverpool in all competitions, although he won no silverware during his five-year stay at Anfield.

His departure is a blow to Liverpool as he had returned to top form after an injury-hit start to the season, scoring seven goals in the last eight games of 2017.

Liverpool have been tipped to quickly reinvest their windfall from the Coutinho sale, with Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez and Monaco's Thomas Lemar both linked with a switch to Anfield.

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Sports quiz of the week: FA Cup derbies, record breakers and Coldplay

  • Published in Sports
Sports quiz of the week: FA Cup derbies, record breakers and Coldplay

Who lived the life? Who ruled Liverpool? And who rued a missed opportunity?

• The big sports quiz of the year 2017

Everton face Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup. They have met twice in the final of the competition. Which player scored twice in both of those finals?

Michael Owen

Stuart McCall

Ian Rush

Kenny Dalglish

Who said: "I asked to go

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