Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City’s 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Liverpool on Sunday as one of his happiest days as a manager.
Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice during his time in charge of Barcelona, was delighted with the response of his players after a 3-1 defeat at Monaco on Wednesday knocked them out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage.
The City manager noted Liverpool had more time to ready themselves for the match due to their lack of European commitments, but he criticised his side’s lack of clinical finishing despite his overall pleasure at the performance.
“You cannot imagine. It is one of happiest days of my career as a manager. I am so proud,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“After the Champions League, the last few days at training people were so, so, sad and people don’t talk too much. We arrive here against Liverpool who have no Europe all season and one week to prepare. The spirit, how we played, it is one of my happiest days as a manager.
“We created more than them. Our problem is we don’t score goals, easy goals, but at least we showed the spirit we didn’t show at Monaco, which is why we went out. We created five clear chances and didn’t score and that’s why we were out.”
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 19, 2017
“When you approach one game when you are winning 10 in a row and in a good mood it’s nothing special.
“But in this condition, out of the Champions League and playing against Liverpool, one of the top teams, how we played against their counter-attacking with [Roberto] Firmino and [Sadio] Mane, exceptional players, how we played with our character after two or three days means a lot.”
Guardiola went on to dismiss reports he is planning a major squad overhaul at the end of the season.
He continued: “I know [the players] quite well and they know me but we have to change things next season, we created chances and didn’t score enough goals, but not what people say. How happy I am with these guys, nothing changes.”