Aguero strike saves Guardiola’s blushes

Published: March 20, 2017
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their first goal against Liverpool on March 19, 2017.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their first goal against Liverpool on March 19, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Pep Guardiola’s problems mounted as Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Liverpool, while Tottenham beat Southampton 2-1 to keep in touch with runaway leaders Chelsea on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Manchester United extended their unbeaten league run to 18 games as a 3-1 victory at relegation-threatened Middlesbrough took them up to fifth place.

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Guardiola was criticised after his side crashed out of the Champions League against Monaco in midweek and the Spaniard suffered another blow as City’s slender hopes of catching Chelsea were effectively ended at Eastlands.

“After the Champions League, the last few days at training people were so, so, sad,” said Guardiola. “Our problem is we don’t score when they are easy goals. At least we showed spirit that we didn’t show in the first half in Monaco.”

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp added: “To get a point at Manchester City is absolutely OK. There were a few situations where we couldn’t defend their quality, but we could have won this game.”

At White Hart Lane, Tottenham proved they can thrive without leading scorer Harry Kane and closed the gap on Chelsea to 10 points with a 2-1 win.

“It was difficult. In the end we were better and deserved to win,” said Pochettino. “It is another victory, we keep our position in second and we are happy.”

At the Riverside Stadium, United’s latest 3-1 victory made them the first club to record 600 Premier League wins and put them within four points of the top four in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

“I am super happy. The attitude of the boys was magnificent. I think I made them feel important and trusted,” said United boss Jose Mourinho. “The spirit is fantastic. We have two doors still open for Champions League football.”

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