Guardiola praises ‘incredible’ Liverpool for Barca performance

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has praised Liverpool’s ‘outstanding’ performance, despite losing 3-0 to Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Jurgen Klopp’s side’s European ambitions look all but over after Luis Suarez and a Lionel Messi brace sealed a win for the Spanish side, who are in a convincing position to reach the final ahead of next week’s second leg at Anfield.

Liverpool were made to pay for missing a host of opportunities at the Nou Camp, having dominated the contest for long periods.

Guardiola, who won two Champions League titles as manager at Barcelona, was full of praise for Klopp’s side despite the defeat.

“The game was incredibly good,” Guardiola told the press ahead of his sides clash with Leicester.

“Liverpool were outstanding. I enjoyed watching it.”

Liverpool return to Premier League action this weekend with a trip to Newcastle, and can put the pressure on Guardiola’s City in the title race by going top with a victory.

A win for both will take a fascinating title race down to the final day, with the runners-up set to finish with a record points total.

With just two games remaining, neither team can afford a slip-up and Guardiola admits both side’s face difficult fixtures.

“They fought a lot this season. Newcastle (who play Liverpool on Saturday) is not easy. Leicester (who play City on Monday) is not easy.”

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