Pep Guardiola watched on as Mohamed Salah’s strike condemned his Manchester City side to their first defeat of the season with the Catalan on his knees before the goal was scored.
Pep Guardiola sunk to his knees after Mohamed Salah found himself clear on goal before slotting Liverpool’s winner.
The Manchester City boss saw his team lose for the first time this season as his struggles at Anfield continued. Guardiola has only managed one win on Merseyside during his tenure at the Etihad, losing on four occasions. Salah has now scored in three of those victories and has an impressive record against City.
The Egyptian was able to use his body well, turning Joao Cancelo after Alisson had punted the ball up field. It came after City had a free-kick in Liverpool ‘s half with Guardiola screaming at his players to get back in position. Salah, who had missed an earlier one-on-one, made no mistake with Guardiola sinking to his knees before the Liverpool forward had even scored.
After the contest he bemoaned the errors which led to the winner. He said: “We conceded a goal because of a mistake, and we didn’t follow the transition. Alisson plays it out quick, Kevin didn’t follow, and Joao lost the duel.
“It is always so difficult against Salah with the way he uses his body. This is something we have to learn for future tight games against Liverpool, but the way we played, the performance and the courage we played with was fantastic.”
Jurgen Klopp hailed his forward, who often took up a central role as opposed to his usual position on the left. The German refuted the idea that Liverpool got lucky from a Cancelo mistake, instead giving credit to Salah. He said: “Mo played an exceptional game. Absolutely outstanding. Yes, obviously he was one of two strikers in the centre together with Bobby. Great, an absolutely top performance.
Pep Guardiola sunk to his knees in his technical area before Mo Salah scored the winner
The goal was world-class. Again, a colleague of yours asked me if I think we were a bit lucky in that moment because [Joao] Cancelo missed the ball. I didn’t see a player missing the ball, I saw a player using his body extremely well and being there in the one-on-one situation with the goalie. So, a top-class goal.”
Guardiola expected Salah to be a major threat despite his indifferent form this term. The Egyptian had struggled to hit the heights usually expected of him, but returned to his best last week as he hit the fastest ever Champions League hat-trick against Rangers at Ibrox.
In the build-up to the game the City boss said: “This type of player always scores goals in their career. Even not at their best, the quality is there. They are so good, they scored seven goals last game. We played many times against Liverpool; Salah scores always — we know that.”