Manchester City Manager, Pep Guardiola has said he is not sure Liverpool can handle the pressure of competing for the title.
Liverpool, has, over the past two weeks thrown away the chance tp go seven points clear at the summit of the premier league and now could go second if Manchester City win their game at Everton on Wednesday.
Guardiola was asked if his team’s experience was a key factor in the run-in and he said his team was used to dealing with pressure and has also bounced back immediately.
“I think [your] question is whether Liverpool can handle the pressure or not – really I don’t know.” He said.
“What I would say is that I trust my players because, and I use this example always, we were 3-0 down in the Champions League at Anfield [last season] and the reaction when we played them in the second leg … when we scored a legal goal [Leroy Sané’s effort was incorrectly ruled out for offside] and an incredible penalty in the second half via Andy Robertson on Raheem Sterling [which was not given].
“The way we reacted and the way we [proceeded] to play despite all of this – that’s good. The only moment in the last two seasons when we lost back-to-back league games was this season against Crystal Palace and Leicester [in December]. I have the feeling that when I put them under pressure they react well. They accept the challenge when I say: ‘OK, show me again how good you are, come on.’ And they do it, they try it.”
Notwithstanding, he still believes Liverpool holds the advantage.
“I would prefer to be in the position of Liverpool. Yesterday after the result [the 1-1 draw at West Ham] we were surprised, but it can happen.
“They drop two points and it is better for us than the position before. OK, the [other] teams will have a rest and Everton and ourselves have to play on Wednesday. But we have to win. Are we going to be the team that lost against Newcastle or the team that won against Arsenal? That is the challenge.
“Three or four days ago we were already done, the champions were Liverpool and now we can be leading. We try to be calm. There will be surprises and it will be tough for teams to win every game.”
He also said the title could come down to goal difference.
“The first message is to win the game and the second one is if you can score, score, and if you can avoid conceding, do it,” Guardiola said.
“The Premier League could go to goal difference, I agree, though we are not going to say to the guys: ‘Today we have to win 25-zero.’ I have never said that. First you have to win the game and then second try [to score more], because it can happen.”
City’s goal difference is five better than Liverpool’s and superior to Tottenham’s by 14.