Pep Guardiola has conceded that he is happy with a point against "the best team in the world in transitions," despite Riyad Mahrez missing a penalty in the 85th minute which would have sealed three points after a disappointing stalemate at Anfield.
City’s record £60m record signing Mahrez took the spot kick, awarded after a Virgil van Dijk foul, plucking the ball from Gabriel Jesus who looked the most likely to take the kick.
However, Guardiola, as quoted by the Telegraph, refused to blame the Algerian for missing the penalty - which was blazed high above the bar - but did apologise to Jesus for not allowing him to take it.
“Yes, he wanted it,” said Guardiola, who had already substituted designated penalty-taker Sergio Aguero. “I apologise. But during the training sessions I see (Mahrez) taking the penalties and it gives me a lot of confidence.”
The game failed to live up to the pre-match hype in the media but, on recognising the strengths of Liverpool, the Spaniard opted to play at a slower tempo in order to cancel out Liverpool's attacking threat.
The City boss said: “If you play so quick they are much better than us. We want to create but when you make a mistake - if it is an open game at Anfield, you don’t even have one per cent of a chance. Up and down they are the best team in the world in these transitions.
“We had a clear chance in the last action, so we controlled quite well. We know how complicated it is playing in this stadium and how dangerous they are," added the City boss, who through the years has struggled against Jurgen Klopp's teams.
He added: “They are incredibly quick and we controlled them. We didn’t create much but that is normal because they are so strong.
“It is a point. We were close, more than ever to winning here, but it is better than last season. We had our chance.”
As well as the spot kick awarded for the foul on Leroy Sane, the visitors had other strong penalty appeals turned down by referee Martin Atkinson but Guardiola refused to speak about any refereeing decisions.
“I would not like to speak about the referees, about the decisions,” Guardiola said.
Both teams head into the international break, of which both managers are grateful for after two weeks of fixture congestion.