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Pep Guardiola has admitted that the victory over Southampton was 'important' after losing their last two matches, and has labelled Liverpool as one of the best teams in Europe ahead of the Citizens' crunch match against the Reds on Thursday.

City set themselves up perfectly for the top of the table clash, winning 3-1 against Southampton on Sunday afternoon, courtesy of goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and an own-goal from Southampton's James Ward-Prowse.


Now that City have overcome that obstacle, attention is already being drawn towards the visit of Liverpool - something Guardiola discussed with Match of the Day, as per Teamtalk after Sunday's match.

"Yes it was important to win after two defeats and the players did what they had to do. If one team achieves 100 points and then the year after make 45 in the first round it is not all bad.

“We are doing well but the other team [Liverpool] are possibly one of the strongest in Europe."

He also went on to reveal how pleased he was with the way his side responded to their two recent defeats against Crystal Palace and Leicester.

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"The guys lose two games and we are out of the Premier League," he told Sky Sports. "If you win one game you are in the Premier League. There's a lot of games.

"You have to try to play with a plan that they've known for many years and they've done it before because they are fantastic. They are incredible guys and it's not easy, win or lose, to realise that."

Kevin De Bruyne was absent for the win over Southampton due to a muscular injury, but Guardiola could not confirm to Sky Sports whether he would be available for Thursday's match.

"I don't know how he is. Today he was not able to play, but it is not a big issue

"It is normal for this to happen when you spend three to four months out injured - you come back in such a demanding period and you have a little bit of a problem. 


"It's not a big issue, but I cannot say if he will be able to play on Thursday."