Humble Guardiola hails Liverpool, vows to learn from mistakes

(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola congratulated Liverpool and manager Juergen Klopp on winning their first league title in 30 years, but was left ruing some earlier results that gave the Reds the chance to end their drought.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Manchester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - June 25, 2020 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola talks to Aymeric Laporte during a drinks break, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS / Paul Childs / Pool

Needing a win to keep their extremely slim chances of retaining the Premier League title alive, Guardiola’s side lost 2-1 away to Chelsea on Thursday despite a superb free-kick goal by Kevin De Bruyne.

“Congratulations for Liverpool fans, the manager, the players. Well deserved, good champions,” Guardiola told a news conference at Stamford Bridge.

“This season we dropped points at the beginning, some unfairly and some because we made mistakes like today. We’ve got to be more consistent,” the 49-year-old explained as he looked back on the season.

“Two seasons ago we were 25 points in front of Liverpool and the next season they recovered. Now we’ve got to recover.”

Christian Pulisic had given Chelsea the lead and they secured the win through a Willian penalty after Fernandinho was sent off for handling the ball on the goal-line.

“It is not easy to attack Chelsea with their physicality in their team. Unfortunately we conceded mistakes and at this level against this quality it is difficult. We played until the end with a huge personality,” Guardiola said.

The Spanish coach added that he was proud of his side, who will host newly-crowned champions Liverpool in their next league game on July 2, and that they would learn from their mistakes.

“We can now say the last ten competitions we played, we won eight titles. That’s never happened before in this country. You cannot win all the time,” he said.

“We have to take a little bit of perspective, be humble and say we can’t win all the time. We have to learn to avoid this situation again.”

Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge