Liverpool are also unbeaten but the champions’ march on another Premier League title continues to be relentless
There was something in Pep Guardiola’s face that looked like acceptance, maybe even a small amount of happiness, when he pondered the pocket of pressure Manchester City were briefly under at the end of their midweek win at Watford. For ages the game felt like a mild breeze, until a late goal for Watford produced a mini storm. Perhaps (admittedly it might be overthinking this here) Guardiola even welcomed it as a timely lesson for his players. “Never can you forget to play,” he stressed in a pointed manner that suggested that message was delivered more forcefully in the dressing room. In a way Liverpool’s capacity to keep close enough to City is a help – a motivational force of sorts. Even so, they do carry themselves through games with that ultra-confidence of a heavy favourite who expects to win. An off day against a keyed-up opponent is possible. Liverpool and Man United did it last season. Lyon this. It can be done, but it won’t be very often. Manchester City have the squad with the strongest depth, the most reliable gameplan, and their motivation remains unblemished.