Pep Guardiola challenges Manchester City to beat Liverpool to stay in Premier League title race
Last Updated: 31/12/18 9:56am
Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City must beat Liverpool on Thursday in order to maintain their Premier League title bid.
The victory sets up a pivotal title battle with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium - live on Sky Sports - with second-placed City trailing the league leaders by seven points.
City boss Guardiola has conceded only a win on Thursday will be enough to keep his side in the hunt to retain their crown.
"With the position of Liverpool, if we drop points then it is over, it is finished; it would be almost impossible," he said in his post-match press conference.
"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."
Guardiola was delighted with the overall display from his players against Southampton, but he gave special praise to Oleksandr Zinchenko, whose mistake in the first half allowed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in to score the hosts' 36th-minute equaliser.
He told Sky Sports: "With what happened with Zinchenko, how he reacted, that is the lesson we have to learn for the young player.
"After what happened he didn't hide or say 'I didn't want the ball'. He was the best player on the pitch."