Pep Guardiola described Liverpool as “one of the most perfect teams I have seen in my life” and is thrilled the Premier League title race is heading for a “fair” conclusion.
Guardiola’s Manchester City side fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday, with Riyad Mahrez missing a late penalty to clinch all three points.
It means City hold a four-point lead over the quadruple-chasing Reds, who still have two games to play and will ensure the race for the title goes to the wire as long as they avoid defeat against Southampton on Tuesday – albeit a draw would mean Jurgen Klopp’s side would need a seven-goal swing to usurp their rivals.
For Guardiola, the scenario heading into a dramatic final week of the domestic season is perfect.
“I said to the players after the game that we could not expect any different against a team fighting to win the Premier League that is one of the most perfect teams I have seen in my life,” said the City boss.
“Against this Liverpool you cannot win the league a month ago or two or three fixtures ago. You have to fight until the end.
“I said [to the players] today not to be said because you gave a really good performance and it is fair against this opponent to arrive on the final day to decide who is the best, because both teams are too good.”
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 15, 2022
Jack Grealish was the man to spark City’s second-half revival at the London Stadium and for the attacking midfielder there is an intriguing plot twist given the Citizens face Aston Villa on Sunday, the team he left for the Etihad Stadium in a £100million deal.
The England midfielder says there can be no time for sentiment as he aims to earn a first piece of major silverware with City.
“I can’t wait and it’s going to be a great day. It just had to be against Aston Villa, didn’t it? It couldn’t have been any other game,” Grealish said.
“But that doesn’t matter. It’s not about me and it’s not about who we’re playing against. It’s about the team and it’s about the club. We are going to go out there and try to win and get all three points.
“It’s going to be different for me. I’ve never had that before – I’ve never had a game on the last day to win a title.”