LIVERPOOL. – Pep Guardiola took responsibility for placing his trust in Riyad Mahrez as the Algerian’s missed penalty five minutes from time cost Manchester City victory in a disappointing 0-0 draw at Liverpool on Sunday.
The draw preserved both sides’ unbeaten English Premier League soccer records, but they failed to lay down an early marker in the title race as Chelsea moved into a three-way tie at the top on 20 points after eight games.
“I see him every day in the training sessions, I see him every day practice penalties and it gave me a lot of confidence,” said Guardiola after he instructed Gabriel Jesus, who earlier replaced regular penalty taker Sergio Aguero, to hand the ball to Mahrez.
However, Mahrez’s miserable record from the spot continued as City’s club record £60-million signing missed for the fourth time in his last six penalties by blasting well over the bar.
Unlike the four enthralling encounters between the two last season when Liverpool beat the English champions three times, a highly-anticipated clash fell flat with neither side managing to register a shot on target until after the hour mark.