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Pep Guardiola hails draw vs Liverpool as a special day

by 19/03/2017 18:58:00 0 comments 1 Views

By Dominic King for the Daily Mail

Published: 18:30 EDT, 19 March 2017 | Updated: 18:58 EDT, 19 March 2017

Pep Guardiola bizarrely claimed it was 'one of the most special days of my life' after Manchester City fought back to secure a draw with Liverpool.

Sergio Aguero missed a sitter late on and the City boss, whose side are 12 points behind leaders Chelsea, still faces a battle to secure qualification for the Champions League. 

But Guardiola, who has won 40 major honours in a glittering career as a player and manager, repeatedly insisted this result, four days after City were dumped out of the Champions League in Monaco, was comparable to anything that has gone before. 

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola hailed Sunday as a 'special day' after drawing with Livepool Manchester City's Pep Guardiola hailed Sunday as a 'special day' after drawing with Livepool

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola hailed Sunday as a 'special day' after drawing with Livepool

'It is one of the most special days of my life,' said Guardiola. 'Why? Because we lived through a tough two days after being out of the Champions League with our mood at what happened in Monaco. I could see in training, the guys were so sad.

'Then playing Liverpool, when all week they were preparing for the game. We fought until the last minute and put everything out on the pitch. We did all we could. That is why I am so, so happy.

'It is one of the days I'm most proud of in my career. Being coach of these guys, more than ever, I want to help this club — if they want to stay with me the next few years — to take the next step forward.'

Sergio Aguero brought City back level after Liverpool had taken the lead through James Milner Sergio Aguero brought City back level after Liverpool had taken the lead through James Milner

Sergio Aguero brought City back level after Liverpool had taken the lead through James Milner

Guardiola hailed the performance and character of John Stones for overcoming criticism, but he was left to rue a familiar failing after City failed to capitalise on the 'clear chances' they created.

'That is why we can't compete with the top teams,' he said. 'To achieve the top targets, you have to be more clinical. We do not score enough goals.'

A strike from Aguero midway through the second half cancelled out James Milner's 49th-minute penalty and a point apiece was fair after an absorbing, exhilarating game.

Aguero was left holding his head in his hands when he missed a chance to score a second  Aguero was left holding his head in his hands when he missed a chance to score a second 

Aguero was left holding his head in his hands when he missed a chance to score a second 

City remain in third place, with Liverpool fourth and Manchester United snapping away in fifth spot.

Liverpool dominated for 25 minutes in the second half and squandered glorious chances of their own. Roberto Firmino fluffed a one-on-one and Adam Lallana missed his kick from seven yards with the goal at his mercy. 

But Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp defended Lallana, saying: 'He's possibly the best technical player I've worked with. If he can't do it, it's because he worked so hard beforehand. That can happen.' 

And what did he think of Guardiola's assessment? 'He's Spanish,' Klopp said with a grin. 'They are more emotional than Germans!'  

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