Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has described Liverpool’s performance in the Nou Camp as ‘outstanding’.
The Reds lost 3-0 to Barcelona but – as we wrote at the time – they were not outclassed, but merely came up against the best player in the world.
Guardiola insists that defeat in the Champions League semi-final first leg should not have an adverse effect on Liverpool’s title challenge.
“I don’t think so, I don’t think it will affect them,” said Guardiola. “The game was incredible, both sides, Liverpool were outstanding, it was a good performance from both. I enjoyed watching it. I think it will be not easy at Newcastle but they’ll be well prepared to win there.
“I think Barcelona defended really well, and they beat an incredible team. Liverpool must be proud of what they did. They played in the most difficult stadium in the world, and they played with a lot of courage and personality and made a good game.”
Guardiola also dismissed the notion that either Newcastle or Leicester – both managed by former Liverpool managers – would have extra motivation to either lose to Liverpool or beat Manchester City.
“Brendan and Rafa were in Liverpool but they’ll want to win, I cannot imagine them not wanting to win the game, I don’t have doubts. There’s no sense this kind of question – the players and manager will want to win.
“That [rolling over] is not going to happen. The manager and the players want to do a good performance, the question makes no sense, forget about it. The Leicester players will not come here for their holidays, maybe they have a chance to finish seventh and they will try to make a good game.”