LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City applauds fans following his team's defeat in the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on November 10, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo
Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn into the debate over a controversial handball but instead praised his Manchester City team in the wake of their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Two of the Reds' much-vaunted front three got on the score-sheet at Anfield, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but it was Fabinho's opener after six minutes that caused the most controversy.
Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball in his own box before Liverpool raced up the other end and scored, only for both referee Michael Oliver and the VAR to decide there was no penalty to award.
But Guardiola refused to talk about the incident - "ask the referees" - and instead heaped praise on his side despite the scoreline.
"Congratulations to Liverpool, they scored three, we got one but I'm so proud of my team, few teams can come here and play the way that we did," Guardiola said.
"We started incredibly well, we showed incredible bravery, they are the champions of Europe and it is the most difficult stadium in the world. They had two shots and it was two goals.
"It's not easy after being two goals down to react the way we reacted. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen from my team.
"That's what we needed and hopefully we can continue to make the steps we need."
Guardiola: Ask Mike Riley and the big bosses about VAR
The result means that last season's champions City are now nine points behind Liverpool, who themselves are eight points clear of Leicester and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.
And City midfielder Bernardo Silva, who scored a late consolation for the visitors, mirrored Guardiola's acknowledgement that Liverpool's talent.
"I think we played one of the best sides in the world, it's never easy in a stadium like Anfield," Silva said.
"We had started better than them when we conceded the first goal. First counter, first goal, you cannot give them an inch, because if you do they will take it and score goals.
Klopp: Who wants to be first in early November??
"It was a good performance but we want to win. Most teams may think they are playing better than Liverpool then at half-time you are losing two or three nil. It's how they play, they are one of the best counter attacking teams in the world.
"Congratulations to Liverpool we'll fight until the end. We've been in this position last season, we will never give up. We're only in November and they still have to play at the Etihad and there are plenty of games to play. We are not in the ideal position, or the one we'd want to be we have to improve."