Robertson: Two-horse title race talk well off the mark

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While he will most likely move to the Bernabéu next season, the Belgian ace appears to be fully focused on the current campaign with his side, and has been on fire in the goal scoring department so far this season.

It was particularly tough to take for Jesus, who was keen to take the penalty only to be ushered away by Mahrez, who has missed five of his past eight penalties. Guardiola deployed the pace and height of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte at centre-back: last season, the less mobile and imposing Nicolas Otamendi played in both away games and was swamped by Liverpool's front three.

They have scored the most goals and conceded the joint fewest and the concern for their immediate rivals is that it does not feel like City have got close to clicking fully into gear yet, despite some handsome results.

Those worries are surely premature, with the intense nature of that run of games being sure to take a toll in the legs of a hard-running outfit at some point, and that aforementioned trip to Yorkshire starts off a more favourable run of fixtures the far side of the upcoming worldwide break.

The Brazilian midfielder, who has linked up with his country for the worldwide break, has played three times for the Reds this season totalling 101 minutes.

A message came from the City bench for Mahrez to take the spot-kick instead of Jesus.

Quoted in the Mirror, he said: 'It won't affect me at all. Everyone misses penalties - even big, big, big players. Roberto Firmino has been helping me, as well as Alisson. I have to look forward, it is part of football. When you are in there, scenting goals, sometimes this happens.

"But the most important thing is that our performance was very good today".

Jurgen Klopp's men played out a 0-0 draw with Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday, with Riyad Mahrez missing a late penalty for the visitors.

"This time, while retaining an attacking outlook, he had his players better drilled to plug the gaps which Jurgen Klopp's fast counter-attacks exploited so ruthlessly in the those 4-3 and 3-0 defeats".

Mahrez felt the approach served the team well.

"We can play a lot better but on days when you are not at your best it is important not to drop points".

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