Manchester City ‘much better’ side but the luck is with Liverpool, says Rodri

Jamie Jackson on 11 November 2019

Rodri has claimed Manchester City were “much better” than Liverpool despite Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Anfield and that everything is going the way of the league leaders.

The result leaves City nine points behind Jürgen Klopp’s side, who are eight ahead of Leicester and Chelsea. Liverpool were 3-0 up after 51 minutes via goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané, City securing a consolation Bernardo Silva strike 12 minutes from the end.

Yet Rodri said: “I think we were much better overall. We created more chances than them, but they arrive to our goal three times and scored three goals.

“We are leaving with a bittersweet feeling, because we wanted to win. I don’t think they have been much better than us, but they have scored the chances they had.”

City were left angry regarding Fabinho’s sixth-minute opener, believing a penalty should have been awarded just over 20 seconds earlier when the ball struck Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right arm. VAR ruled it was not an infringement.

Rodri hinted that Liverpool are benefiting from luck. “They are very strong at the moment and they are having everything right,” he said. “We have been brave, we have tried during the 90 minutes, we never gave up. We have had to faced several blows along the game.”

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The midfielder pointed to how City have previously overcome a sizeable points deficit. On 29 December of last season Liverpool were 10 points ahead before Pep Guardiola’s side beat Southampton 3-1 the next day to start of a run of 18 wins from 19 games that delivered the title.

Asked whether City’s title defence was over Rodri was defiant. “Absolutely not,” he said. “This team has shown it many times before, has won the Premier League two seasons in a row and that isn’t a coincidence. This team has earned the respect and [deserve to still] be considered in the title race.

“Last season, the team was seven points behind and it could have been 10 in case of losing [at Southampton], and they managed to win the league in the end. We are in November. There is still a lot of games left.”

Guardiola to face no action over Anfield conduct

The FA have confirmed that Pep Guardiola will not face any action over his conduct during and after Manchester City’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Guardiola gestured at the fourth official, Mike Dean, after a second penalty appeal for handball against Trent Alexander-Arnold was waved away. Guardiola also offered referee Michael Oliver an exaggerated handshake, and appeared to sarcastically say “thank you so much”, after the final whistle.

When asked to comment on the handball decisions after the match, Guardiola said: “Ask Mike Riley and the big bosses about that. Don’t ask me. I’m here to talk about the game. Every time I’m being asked why one day it’s handball, the next day it’s not. Don’t ask me. Ask them.”

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