Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said he was “proud” of his side despite the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
City were dominated during the first half as they failed to take advantage of the chances they had, with Liverpool storming into a two-goal lead early on, although the visitors could have had a penalty when the ball struck Trent Alexander-Arnold’s arm.
The away side were much better in the second 45 minutes and showed a response when Bernardo Silva turned in Angelino’s deflected cross.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Guardiola chose not to talk about the handball incident involving Alexander-Arnold.
“What happened today [was] we showed why we are champions, I am so proud of my team, more than ever,” the manager said. “We can be proud of how we played against the strongest team in Europe.
“Ask the referees, don’t ask me. Ask Mike Riley and the guys in VAR. I would like to talk about our performance, it was so good. It was one of the best performances we have played.
“We played like back-to-back champions. We cannot deny how good Liverpool are but the way we played, the personality, it was good.”
Guardiola said the game was similar to Liverpool’s victory over City in the Champions League two seasons ago as he vowed that his side would bounce back.
“It was quite similar to the Champions League game. It was an incredible situations in that game too but the performance today was so good. Always we try, never give up that is why we are back-to-back champions. Always fight until the end.
“It is important to grow as a club and as a team. It was an honour for both team to show the Premier League to spectators this type of game.”
City now sit nine points behind Liverpool in the Premier League, with Leicester currently Liverpool’s closest challengers.