Man City never give up— Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists his side have learned to never give up after finally reeling in Liverpool and overtaking them at the top of the Premier League.
A 2-0 victory over Everton, thanks to goals in added time at the end of each half from Aymeric Laporte and substitute Gabriel Jesus, lifted them above their title rivals on goal difference for the first time in two months, having played one match more.
Little over a month ago Jurgen Klopp’s side traveled to the Etihad Stadium with the chance to go 10 points clear and Guardiola praised his team’s persistence.
“The reality is we could have been, one month ago, 10 points behind when we played Liverpool,” he said.
“A few days ago we could have been seven points behind. Now we are top of the league.
“That is the best advice. The lesson is never give up. That is a lesson for all athletes. Try to win the games, because life can change immediately.”
Of their current position, level on 62 points with Liverpool but with a goal difference seven superior, Guardiola added: “It’s much better. We have played one more game. It’s the best we can do.”
The win at Goodison Park puts the pressure back on Liverpool, who have a chance to respond this weekend as they play Bournemouth 24 hours before City host Chelsea.
“It’s a question for them. We are leaders. Twelve games to play, a lot of points,” said Guardiola.
“We started well. Arsenal (a 3-1 win on Sunday) and here. Now comes a big test, a big goal.
“Chelsea are an exceptional team who have had seven days to prepare. We have to prepare well. It really is a final for us this weekend. If we are able to take these points, it is a huge step forward.”
Everton boss Marco Silva was left to bemoan their fragility at set-pieces once again as they conceded for the 12th time in the Premier League (excluding penalties) – which is the top-flight’s worst record – and 17th occasion this season.
“It’s a big frustration to concede after 47 minutes in first half, after 97 minutes in the second half,” he said.
“I don’t want to talk more about set-pieces. What I tell, I will tell to the players. I understand why you ask, but there is something inside the mind of our players. We have to work more.”
He was, however, encouraged by the overall performance.