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Manchester City hands Liverpool first loss of Premier League season

05 January 2019

A title defence faltering a week ago is back on track for Pep Guardiola after City beat Liverpool 2-1 on Thursday, inflicting the leader's first league loss of the season in their 21st game.

While Silva received the plaudits, match-winner Leroy Sane hailed City team-mate Fernandinho.

The Portugal worldwide also claimed an assist as City closed within four points of Liverpool, who were condemned to their first defeat of the Premier League campaign.

It means City have cut the gap between them and Liverpool to four points at the top of the league.

Salah started six of the seven games for the Reds and scored six goals, including a hat-trick at Bournemouth and the opener at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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I think the feeling among the Liverpool support now will be that in Virgil van Dijk they have a great centre half but Dejan Lovren looked so poor on the night and that's an issue for them.

City was spared from going behind by just 11 millimeters (0.4 inches) of the ball failing to cross the line in the 18th minute. If you don't win the duels against Liverpool, they create chances.

The side also have the prospect of another Champions League run after they reached the final previous year, as they face Bayern Munich in the last 16. "It was that or let him go through on goal, and in my mind there was only one outcome".

He's so important for them and they really missed him in the games they lost last month. Do we need an open something (wound)'. "He was incredible", Guardiola told Sky Sports.

However, the England defender somehow managed to keep the ball out of the goal by the most minimal of margins. Why should we behave like somebody who has won it all the time?

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The Liverpool pair are in contention for the prize after helping the team to seven successive victories during the period.

"Sane scores and the situation with Sadio when he hit the post".

But perhaps that pragmatism stems from Guardiola and City knowing that substance over style is sometimes the way to win - win ugly, even - when it matters in a title race.

"We knew it was going to be a very tough season and there will be ups and downs and Thursday was obviously a down", said the Netherlands worldwide.

"I have already said to the boys this is OK. Then we could have scored two; of course, City had counter-attacks, especially when we lost the ball, it was really risky".

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Manchester City hands Liverpool first loss of Premier League season