Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Thursday night’s clash with Liverpool is a must-win for his side if they are to remain in this season’s title race.
Guardiola’s side host Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders trailing their Merseyside rivals by seven points following recent losses to Crystal Palace and Leicester City.
Liverpool, unbeaten so far this season, have won their past nine league fixtures and Guardiola admits City must halt that run if they are to remain in the running to defend their title.
“With the position of Liverpool, if we drop points then it is over, it is finished; it would be almost impossible,” said Guardiola after his sides 3-1 win over Southampton yesterday.
“Of course they are going to drop points but not too many. If you want to be there as far as possible until the end, we have to remember what happened last season, and this as well, apart from the last few days.
“We never forget who we are. Sometimes you have to kick your face, be a little bit stubborn and ask ‘guys, what happened?’.
“Maybe I’m wrong but all players everywhere want to do well. Sometimes you need to realise that wanting to do well is not enough. You have to try it again.
“Liverpool know what they have to do, we know what we have to do on Thursday.
“I know the distance is big, seven points, especially because they’re so solid and consistent. But we’re at home, hopefully our extra help from our people at the Etihad can help, they can support us.
“In the winter break everyone loses games, except for Liverpool in this period, but everyone drops points, that’s normal.
“We spoke about our responsibilities and what we are as a team and they did it today, and that was fantastic.”