EPL

Liverpool's relentless pursuit of Man City no surprise to Gundogan

By Sports Desk February 20, 2022

Ilkay Gundogan says Liverpool's relentless pursuit of Manchester City in the Premier League title race is "not a situation that we're not used to".

City were beaten 3-2 by Tottenham in a classic encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, as Harry Kane netted an injury-time winner shortly after Riyad Mahrez's penalty had seemingly earned the hosts a point.

Liverpool's own come-from-behind 3-1 triumph over Norwich City means the Reds are six points back of leaders City, with a game in hand over the reigning champions.

Jurgen Klopp's side have racked up five straight league wins and suffered just one top-flight defeat in their past 14, while they still have to visit their rivals early in April.

For midfielder Gundogan, the thrilling tussle is just part and parcel of what has become the norm over recent seasons.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "It's not a situation that we're not used to.

"We know from recent years that Liverpool are always contenders. They're always up there.

"We know they'll try everything to make our lives as difficult as possible. The good thing is that they still need to come here to the Etihad, but there are still many games to go."

Gundogan had already levelled from Dejan Kulusevski's opener, before Kane – a City transfer target prior to the season – put Spurs back ahead just before the hour.

Mahrez's thumping spot-kick in additional time looked certain to have clinched City a point prior to Kane's dramatic late intervention.

"We kind of thought we'd rescued it," Gundogan conceded.

"If you look at the whole game, we deserved to win. But football is sometimes crazy and we made easy mistakes. We gave them the ball to have possibilities to counter and that made us lose the game.

"They were also ruthless in their finishing up front. We had a lot of chances and the possibility to score a few more goals, but we gave them the chances they had too easily. 

"It didn't feel like a bad game from us. They defended so, so deep, particularly towards the end of the first half. It's not so easy.

"Sometimes you have these kind of games and you need to learn from it. It's a wake-up call for us. There's still a long way to go."

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