Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has proclaimed his love for Algerian forward, Riyad Mahrez despite benching him for the Liverpool Premier League game on Sunday.
Arguably the two best teams currently in the Premier League, Liverpool and Manchester City had to settle for a draw at the Etihad stadium.
Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus were cancelled out by Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané to maintain the pressure at the top of the table.
The 2016 African player of the year, Mahrez had the opportunity to be the hero of the night against Liverpool at the Etihad, with the scoreline remaining 2-2 when he was played through by Kevin De Bruyne but missed the golden opportunity.
“I’m in love with Riyad [Mahrez]; he is an incredible player and person. Today [Sunday], we thought we needed a different quality upfront. We will need him until the end,” Guardiola said as he also praised the way they played in their 2-2 draw against Liverpool.
“I’m really happy with the way we played. We played well [in the] first half, it was tough for 10 minutes in the second half, but that is normal when you concede.
“They have quality and a lot of threats, but we performed well. It is football, these things happen. How many managers say, ‘in the last minutes, we can’t concede’, we can concede until the referee blows the whistle.”
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach understands that his team needs to win all of their remaining games to retain the Premier League.
“We know now that one game and a dropped result, then we will not be champions,” the Catalan said. “Will it be easy? Absolutely not but it will be difficult for them too.
“Seven games in the Premier League is a lot [to win] – they are tough games and they have tough games. I don’t know what will happen but the way we performed throughout the season and against this team to perform the way they did – I am proud. I wanted to win but it doesn’t matter. It was so good.” He concluded.