Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City have not been offered Manchester United star Paul Pogba again despite the Frenchman being linked with the Old Trafford exit.

Pogba has endured another erratic season at United, finding himself in and out of the team under Jose Mourinho, before suffering another dip in form recently.

Although consistency continues to elude Pogba, he has managed to score 13 Premier League goals this term and set up another nine.

Pogba was linked with City last season when Guardiola claimed - just before the derby - his agent had offered him to United's rivals, while Real Madrid are said to be circling following the return of Zinedine Zidane as coach.

But, ahead of Wednesday's Manchester derby, Guardiola refused to stoke any pre-match controversy again, insisting City have not been offered the World Cup-winning midfielder once more by agent Mino Raiola.

"No. No, no, definitely not," Guardiola told reporters when asked if Pogba had been made available to him. "He's a player for Man United."

Guardiola is already spoilt for choice in midfield, even with Kevin De Bruyne expected to miss the derby through another knee injury.

Phil Foden impressed against Tottenham last time out, scoring the only goal of the game in just his second Premier League start and he could start against United for the first time in De Bruyne's stead.

"Yes, he [Foden] is ready," Guardiola said of the Stockport-born 18-year-old.

"I don't know the importance to be a Man City fan or if being involved in that is going to help or not, but he is ready, of course.

"He would not be here [if he wasn't ready]. We'll see [if he starts] - I have to dream tonight."

Pep Guardiola has strongly denied a claim from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that his Manchester City side deliberately set out to commit fouls.

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho previously complained about what he described as "tactical fouls" from Guardiola's City.

And Mourinho's successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer followed suit in his pre-match news conference, claiming "there will be fouls" in Wednesday's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Victory in the derby would put City in pole position in the title race, moving them back above Liverpool by a point with both sides having three games to play.

And Guardiola bristled at Solskjaer's suggestion City cynically bringing counter-attacks to an end is one of his tactical instructions.

"Receive a lot of fouls? So we are going to make fouls to them? Did he say that?" Guardiola said to reporters. "With 75 per cent the average, or 65 or 70 per cent of the ball, how you do that? I don't have any comments about that.

"I never prepare a game in my 10 seasons as a manager thinking about this kind of thing. Never. And my players can talk better than me about that.

"I'm concerned many, many other things about the game to have to play to beat them than this kind of thing.

"So I don't know. Tomorrow in the press conference after the game you can ask him again about that. So I don't know."

Guardiola indicated he feels Solskjaer's words were an attempt to influence the match referee Andre Marriner.

"I don't like it. I don't like it," the City manager said when asked again about the Norwegian's comments. "My team, our team is not built to think and create for that, not at all. I know exactly what I say to my players from the day one, from the last day.

"So we want to play, want to try to attack, we have to be honest and of course there is contact, of course there are fouls, but when it happens and you arrive late and yellow [card] - that's why there are referees to make a yellow card or a red card, or whatever they decide.

"We want to do our game, I want to do our game. Sometimes it's not possible because the others play too, the people sometimes [find it] difficult to understand that, but the other teams play too. But never, never... I prepare the game to do my, our own game, that is what I want."

Guardiola does not expect Solskjaer's comments to have an impact on the referee, though.

"No I don't think so," he added. "We shouldn't do that.

"Really I don't know. I will be suspended [if we talk about referees]. I will be in trouble."

Manchester City must learn to manage Kevin De Bruyne's fitness ahead of next season, according to Pep Guardiola, who has ruled the midfielder out of Wednesday's derby against Manchester United.

De Bruyne went off with a knee injury against Tottenham on Saturday, and will miss the game at Old Trafford, though Guardiola is hopeful the playmaker will still be able to feature before the season is out.

The injury is the latest in a string of set-backs for the 27-year-old, who has been restricted to 30 appearances in all competitions for City this term, making just 11 Premier League starts.

And manager Guardiola confirmed that City will reassess how they treat De Bruyne moving forward, in order to ensure he avoids a repeat of his injury hit campaign next season.

"It is a muscular problem, and we will see in the next days how it is," Guardiola told a news conference. "It's getting better but he is not available [for Wednesday].

"Unfortunately it was one injury and then another one and another one. Before in the past he was safe, especially from muscular problems, but now he has had two or three as a consequence of his knee.

"But with all the competitions we have in England, we don't have time to make preparation when they come back from injury. That is not the best way.

"Now we have to pay more attention in the little details, see if he can play one, two more games before the end of the season, then next season have a good pre-season and take care of himself.

"He has a lovely family, his life is organised in training, rest, prepare for the next game. We are going to speak with the doctors, everybody, to make the problem go and for him to be safe and fit. That's what we are trying to do from now on."

De Bruyne's absence has been felt by City over the course of the season, as the Premier League title race with Liverpool promises to run to the wire.

Victory at Old Trafford would see City move back above their rivals with three games to play, and Guardiola did not downplay the magnitude of Wednesday's fixture.

"Four games left, we have to win all four games to keep the title," he said.

"It is not an easy place to go, but at the same time a nice place to go. We know exactly what we need to do, they are fighting for top four and we are fighting for the title. We will go there to play a good game."

Pep Guardiola sympathises with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the difficult period he is going through and insists he supports the Norwegian ahead of their first derby meeting.

Solskjaer was brought in initially as an interim replacement for Jose Mourinho in December and enjoyed a stunning impact as they lost just one of his first 17 matches at the helm and reached the Champions League quarter-finals against the odds.

Back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Wolves did not put United off from hiring him full-time at the end of March, but a subsequent run of two wins and four defeats has prompted many to question the club's decision to hand Solskjaer a contract through to 2022.

Their most recent defeat was undoubtedly the nadir, as United were humiliated 4-0 away to Everton on Sunday, severely denting their top-four hopes.

Up next on Wednesday is the derby against champions Manchester City in a game which could have major consequences in the title race, and Guardiola showed empathy towards his opposite number.

When asked in his pre-match news conference if he felt it was right for Solskjaer to be questioned, Guardiola said: "I don't know. We [managers] don't have time.

"I understand his position perfectly. We are alone, I am alone and that's why I understand completely his position.

"It happened to me, it happened to all the managers around the world. We can sustain it if we win, if we don't we are in danger.

"That is the reality, we have to accept it. It is what it is. I understand perfectly and I am with him, I support him, honestly."

At the time of Solskjaer's interim appointment and subsequent full-time hiring, much was made of his close connection to the club, having spent the majority of his playing career at Old Trafford as well as his early coaching days.

Guardiola – who managed Barcelona after playing for them – agrees that such a background can be beneficial.

"To know the club is better," he said. "I know this club now more in my third season than I did in my first season.

"He came back here after being a formidable player. He knows everything [about the club], so it's an advantage, of course."

Despite United's recent woes, Guardiola is expecting them to be at their very best in the derby, and while he believes pride to be at stake for Solskjaer's men, he downplayed the influence of their Everton loss on the game.

Asked if United will be eager for a response, Guardiola said: "A little bit more, maybe, but if they won [against Everton] the confidence would be a little bit more, and it is a derby.

"All the derbies here or in Germany or Spain are always special games and the players do their best for the fans and the team.

"I expect the best United, for sure. They have pride, their pride to do their best. We are going to do what we do and try to win the game."

Pep Guardiola insists that out-of-favour winger Riyad Mahrez will not be leaving Manchester City at the end of the season.

The former Leicester City favourite has endured a difficult campaign since making a club-record £60million switch to the Etihad Stadium and has made just 13 starts in the Premier League.

He has failed to make it off the substitutes' bench for City's last three games, watching on as Phil Foden – preferred ahead of the Algeria international – scored the only goal in Saturday's vital 1-0 win over Tottenham.

Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva's outstanding form in wide attacking positions has not helped Mahrez's cause but Guardiola maintains he has no doubts over his quality and expects him to remain at the club for the foreseeable future.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of City's Premier League clash with Manchester United on Wednesday, Guardiola said: "He will be with us next season, and the next one and the next one.

"I don't need to speak to him; he will be here next season. We are delighted with him and the way he has played.

"Riyad is not going to move, he is going to stay here. Everyone knows the competition here, but he is happy and we are happy. It is not necessary to speak with him."

Mahrez has made 42 appearances in all competitions this season for Guardiola's side – 16 of which have been from the bench – and scored 11 goals.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has not seen many players like Phil Foden, who he believes is "special" and possesses "something that's difficult to find".

Foden marked just his second Premier League start with the decisive goal as City bounced back from Champions League elimination at the hands of Tottenham three days prior by defeating Mauricio Pochettino's side 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The 18-year-old was part of England's Under-17 World Cup-winning side in 2017 but has found establishing himself in Guardiola's star-studded midfield a tall order.

Foden has made 25 appearances in all competitions this term, a marked improvement on his 10 outings last season, and an injury to Kevin De Bruyne against Spurs could result in him featuring at Manchester United on Wednesday.

Guardiola has coached some of the greatest technical midfielders of the modern era, including Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona; and Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Xabi Alonso at Bayern Munich.

When asked if he had any players like Foden at Barca, Guardiola replied: "No. He's special."

On how the teenager can become a more prominent member of the first-team squad, he continued: "Next season he has to fight with Fernandinho, with David [Silva], with Kevin, with [Ilkay] Gundogan. He has to run and run and run to convince me he can play. But I trust him. I trust him a lot.

"When I just landed [in Manchester] Txiki [Begiristain, director of football] told me, 'You have to meet one player, 15 or 16 years old, you have to know him.' And the first season I did but one day or two days he came to training sessions and I said, 'Wow, you're right, Txiki. This player is good.'

"But I know how it works, so young players have to be careful. As quickly as you go up you can go down and sometimes you have to handle a little bit that situation, but we don't have any doubts, any.

"Any time he played he was the standard, he was top, he was at the level to be a Manchester City player. It's not easy play in the big teams like Tottenham or Barcelona, [Real] Madrid – the big, top, top clubs. He's able to do that and he's 18 years old and that's why I'm so satisfied.

"I see him every day in training sessions. He has something special this player. And I saw many players as a football player and a manager, I saw many, and this guy has something that's difficult to find.

"Now it's patience, work hard and nothing [more]. We're going to see how long his career [will last]. Hopefully a long time."

Mauricio Pochettino insists Premier League officials have his trust despite Tottenham appearing to be denied a clear penalty in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Phil Foden's early goal proved decisive, as Pep Guardiola's men secured a measure of revenge for their Champions League exit at the hands of Spurs on Wednesday.

Although Spurs suffered a defeat, Pochettino was delighted with his team's performance, as they looked the more threatening side for much of the game.

They were particularly unlucky to not be given the opportunity to level from the spot in the second half when Kyle Walker appeared to block a Dele Alli flick with his arm.

Referee Michael Oliver failed to point to the spot despite being in a decent position to see it, but Pochettino refused to point the finger at the officials.

"Nothing to say," Pochettino said in his post-match news conference. "Always it is about the interpretation of the referee.

"Nothing to say, nothing to complain about, that is football – sometimes it is for you. We trust in the referees and the decisions better than any system.

"Always I am going to back the decisions of the referees."

Despite defeat, Tottenham's top-four hopes remain in their own hands and the run-in looks kind.

Three of their final four games of the season are at home, with the solitary away match coming against a Bournemouth side struggling for form, and Pochettino is fairly relaxed about the situation.

"It is in our hands to be in the top four to be in the Champions League next season," Pochettino said.

"We are going to have now the next two games, they are going to be decisive, against Brighton [and Hove Albion] and West Ham.

"It is going to be tough now, because Tuesday we have another tough game now and then Saturday and then the Champions League semi-final against Ajax.

"I feel very proud. The performance was very good. At least we deserved a draw. The man of the match was the [City] goalkeeper, Ederson.

"We competed really well. We need to keep that feeling and try to translate Tuesday."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Phil Foden after his match-winning performance against Tottenham on Saturday and used the opportunity to hit back at those who criticised his use of Fabian Delph in the Champions League.

City held on to a nervy 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium, with Foden's goal – his first in the Premier League – coming after just five minutes.

Foden was making only his second top-flight start but looked at home as City claimed a measure of revenge for their European exit at the hands of Spurs, who progressed on away goals despite losing the quarter-final second leg 4-3 in midweek.

Spurs won the first leg 1-0 and Delph came in for significant criticism for his performance, as did Guardiola by extension, prompting a prickly response when asked about Foden following Saturday's win.

"Now I am a genius. He [Foden] scored a goal, how good is the manager? Then, after playing Delph in London, it is a disaster," Guardiola told reporters.

"Phil is an incredibly talented player and we have to pick him in the right moment. He has the quality to arrive in the box.

"Every time he plays he scores a goal or has chances. His ability in small spaces, it is not easy to play against [Eric] Dier or [Victor] Wanyama or [Christian] Eriksen.

"It is an incredible experience for him to play and I trust him a lot."

Kevin De Bruyne suffered an injury in the first half and was subsequently forced off, making him a doubt for the remainder of the season, while the Belgian will almost certainly miss Wednesday's trip to Old Trafford.

That could provide Foden with the opportunity to make his first start in a Manchester derby.

"Maybe," Guardiola said when asked if Foden could feature against Manchester United.

"Maybe Kevin is not there, so we will see. I didn't spend one second to think about the match at Old Trafford.

"I need to enjoy today and rest a bit and then watch as many games as possible from United."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola suggested Kevin De Bruyne could miss the rest of the season after suffering an injury in Saturday's 1-0 win over Tottenham.

De Bruyne's campaign has been ravaged by injuries, with successive knee ligament problems forcing him to miss most of the first half of the season.

The Belgian was also absent for the majority of March due to a thigh issue, before hitting a strong run of form upon his return, particularly standing out with three assists in Wednesday's 4-3 Champions League win over Spurs – though that was not enough to send City into the semi-finals.

De Bruyne was bright again in the first half on Saturday, but he appeared to strain something around his left knee while taking a shot just before the break, and Guardiola suspects he could be forced to sit out the rest of 2018-19, including May's FA Cup final showdown with Watford.

When asked about the severity of De Bruyne's injury, Guardiola said: "I don't know, but if he went out it's because of something muscular.

"It's normal after injuries and after these last three or four games playing a lot of minutes without preparation, because when they come back from injuries and train properly to be ready to take a game every three days and that's what happens.

"It's a pity, because now we arrive in the best moment of the season and we are going to miss him for these four days and maybe the FA Cup, but we'll see tomorrow [Sunday]."

On April 20, 2018, Arsene Wenger announced that he would step down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season, bringing his 22-year stint at the club to an end.

Unai Emery was selected as Wenger's successor, and the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain coach brought up his 50th game in charge of the Gunners in style on Thursday, as Arsenal claimed a 3-0 aggregate win over Serie A heavyweights Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals.

The 1-0 victory on the night – which came courtesy of Alexandre Lacazette's superb free-kick – was a 32nd win across all competitions for Emery, and he has the best record of any Arsenal manager in their first 50 matches.

And, using Opta facts, we have taken a look at just how Emery's opening 50 games compare to Wenger's final 50 at the helm as we reach the business end of the Spaniard's first season.

GUNNERS ON THE UP UNDER UNAI

Emery has won 32 of his 50 games in charge of Arsenal in all competitions, a win ratio of 64 per cent. In the final 50 games of Wenger's tenure, the Gunners won 25 games, drawing nine times and losing on 16 occasions – compared to seven draws and 11 defeats respectively under the new boss.

Indeed, across most areas, there has been clear improvement for Arsenal when contrasted with the final days under their former manager. They have scored 97 goals, compared to 95 in the same period under Wenger, while defensively the team has also improved, keeping one more clean sheet and conceding eight fewer goals in total.

Arsenal do average fewer shots than they did under their last manager, but, perhaps thanks to the fine form of Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – both signed during Wenger's final season – their efficiency is up, with a shot conversion rate of 15.3, in comparison to 12.67.

DISCIPLINARY ISSUES A CAUSE FOR CONCERN

One area in which Arsenal have not improved – and have indeed gone backwards in under Emery – is discipline. In his 50 games to date, Arsenal have had four players sent off, double the amount of red cards received during Wenger's final 50 fixtures at the club.

The number of yellow cards are identical, but it should be noted that, with the introduction of energetic, tenacious midfielders such as Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, who have picked up 16 bookings and two red cards between them, Emery's side has more bite than under Wenger.

While Emery is perhaps renowned as a more conservative coach than his predecessor, Arsenal have actually been more open during his tenure so far – they have faced more shots in his opening 50 games than they did in the 50 matches preceding his appointment.

THE BEST OF THE REST?

We have seen how Emery compares to Wenger, but how does he stack up against the rest of the top six managers in the Premier League?

It is a good omen for Arsenal, with Emery's record of 32 wins from 50 games an improvement on former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho (30), Manchester City's Pep Guardiola (29), Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino (26) and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp (23).

In fact, Emery is level with another Premier League newcomer – Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri – at the top of the pile, with the Blues boss also winning 32 of his opening 50 games in charge.

Pep Guardiola is the world's best coach despite Manchester City's Champions League exit, according to Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde.

The Premier League champions were eliminated by Tottenham after a remarkable quarter-final, exiting on the away-goals rule following a 4-4 aggregate draw.

Guardiola has faced some criticism over City's failure, but is a two-time winner of the competition as a coach, leading Barcelona to the title in 2009 and 2011.

Valverde said the Spaniard, who could lead City to a treble this season, was the world's best tactician in his eyes.

"For me, the best coach is Pep Guardiola, no doubt about that," he told a news conference on Friday.

"Even if he was kicked out of the Champions League."

Barcelona will face Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals, while they are also closing in on the LaLiga title ahead of hosting Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says VAR is "f****** boring to talk about".

Guardiola, who has long been one of the game's major champions of VAR, saw City exit the Champions League in extraordinary circumstances against Tottenham this week with the technology twice having a huge impact.

Although City beat Spurs 4-3 in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, their 1-0 reverse in the first encounter in London saw Mauricio Pochettino's side progress on away goals.

The decisive goal was scored by Spurs striker Fernando Llorente, VAR ruling it should stand despite replays indicating the ball brushed his arm before bouncing into City's net off his hip.

And further VAR drama stunned the stadium in added time when Raheem Sterling's celebrations were cut short after he seemed to have wrapped up a hat-trick to deliver a semi-final spot.

VAR reviewed the strike and replays showed Sergio Aguero was marginally offside in the build-up, which stemmed from a loose Christian Eriksen pass towards his own goal.

Spurs return to Manchester for a crunch clash on Saturday with City looking to refocus on a gripping title race with Liverpool - and Guardiola is keen to move on from the debate over VAR, which is coming to the Premier League next season.

"We play for a lot, put a lot of effort in those situations, but we accept it," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. "Sometimes the referee's wrong decision goes in our favour, in this case it was against us. Accept it, it’s football, it’s life.

"Especially for the game tomorrow, if we think about what could happen differently, I don’t know. For one inch we are out, for one handball we are out. Or maybe not, maybe after 10 minutes Tottenham attack and score three goals in five minutes.

"Maybe [that] happens, or maybe not, I don't know. I think to focus on this one action is ridiculous, because the game was so nice, the football was so nice, so open.

"VAR is f****** boring to talk about. Sometimes it helps you, sometimes not. UEFA created it to help the referees. What can I do?

"Try to concede less goals in these stages. Try to be more solid defensively, even though we are so solid throughout the season, even at top sides. At Chelsea, at Liverpool, in all the games we were so solid.

"It’s the competition, the knockout, the way we played for the minutes, and my feeling - maybe it will not be good for next season - that at every stage we are still better, we are still creating a lot of chances.

"No team created that many chances in Europe like we are able to create in many games. That’s why I like to see the way my team play, but unfortunately we are not in the next stage."

Pep Guardiola says he has no regrets over Manchester City's approach to their Champions League tie with Tottenham.

City won the second leg 4-3 on Wednesday, but went out on away goals, with VAR denying Raheem Sterling a last-gasp strike that would have sent Guardiola's side through to the semi-finals.

Guardiola set his side up to restrict Tottenham in the first leg, when City were beaten 1-0, but Wednesday's encounter was wide open, with both teams exchanging four goals in the opening 11 minutes.

Defensively, City were exposed, with Son Heung-min particularly effective against Vincent Kompany, while Aymeric Laporte lacked his usual composure, but Guardiola insists he has no concerns over the defensive organisation of his team – who face Tottenham again in the Premier League on Saturday.

"We concede a lot but we score a lot," Guardiola told a news conference. "When we played at Tottenham people said, 'He adapted, he is not himself, how he defended so tight, he didn't attack'.

"And the people don't think how many players we had coming back from injury, how we had two days regeneration, the new [Tottenham] stadium.

"If we had the kind of game we played here away at Tottenham, we would lose three or four to zero. We have to remember the game from last season at Anfield - three shots on target and three goals.

"Now playing the way we play when we score already 154 goals, when we show a good game for everybody, for you and the spectators around the world.

"That is not going to change. It is not enough to go through. Next season we are going to try and do it. This is my 10th season as a manager, it is always what I have done. In the good moments, the bad moments, we were honest with how we want to play.

"Of course we want to improve and cut out mistakes, we know it, we talk it. The players play and make good actions or bad actions, we have to accept it."

City were sensational at times on Wednesday, carving Tottenham open at ease, with Kevin De Bruyne putting in a brilliant midfield display and Sterling only denied a hat-trick by VAR. 

"Perfection you can never get, but you have to try to achieve it," Guardiola said when asked if his side were a perfect team.

"If it was perfection it would have been 4-0, not 4-3, or 7-0, because we created enough chances to score seven. So perfection does not exist, but you have to try.

"If you don't correct the mistakes, the mistakes will come again, and even when you do correct them the mistakes come again. I love for my players, that they are again and again doing that, arriving in the latter stages and being there, I like it, that is where we are."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola feels the introduction of VAR cannot stop referees making errors after the technology contributed to his side's Champions League exit.

Tottenham's decisive strike in a quarter-final that ended 4-4 on aggregate - Spurs progressing on away goals - was scored by Fernando Llorente, the ball appearing to brush the striker on the arm before his hip diverted it past Ederson.

The goal stood after a VAR review and use of the technology also went against Guardiola' men in added time when Raheem Sterling thought he has completed his hat-trick to send City through, replays showing Sergio Aguero to be fractionally offside in the build-up.

Guardiola has long been a champion of VAR, which was used at last year's World Cup and will be introduced in the Premier League next season after being further tested in English cup competitions this term.

City benefited from VAR not being in use to progress against Swansea City in the FA Cup, while Brighton and Hove Albion knocked out Millwall in a tie that did not have the technology in play either.

But Guardiola accepts it would not have been fair for Tottenham to be denied a first appearance in the Champions League semi-finals due to a goal that should have been disallowed.

"You know my opinion about VAR, you know, nothing changes," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Spurs returning to Manchester for a Premier League clash on Saturday. "Of course what happened was tough.

"Referees make human mistakes like everyone but VAR is here to help, they can make mistakes even with VAR. Referees can take time, longer... seconds or minutes to see the images, different angles to see.

"Making mistakes with VAR, after that I don't agree, you have to take time to get the right decision. I supported it from the first time, it will be fair. If Raheem scores and they go out to an offside for them it's so tough for Tottenham. I don't like that.

"In the FA Cup, we were a goal away and for Swansea it's not nice. We support it, it is what it is. Other managers might not agree with VAR, but maybe now they are [in agreement]."

Questions have been asked about Guardiola after another relative Champions League failure, the two-time winner of the competition having not reached the final since his second success in three years with Barcelona back in 2011.

"I think it's just life, I qualify for the first final with Barcelona with one shot on target [in their semi-final second leg against Chelsea], you can say we didn't deserve it," he added. 

"After, in many situations I may think we deserved it but I would never say so because the opposition didn't deserve to lose either.

"It's football, it's life, it's not easy and it's complicated. You have to fight against tough opponents and react.

"It was incredible, how we performed [against Spurs on Wednesday]. After 1-2 we scored three goals and another which was a little offside.

"We spoke yesterday and we congratulated each other for what we achieved and we're training in the afternoon.

"We have five games [remaining] in the Premier League and the FA Cup final, tomorrow we have another game against Tottenham and we'll see.

"We'll see today how people recover from the big effort mentally and physically, tomorrow we'll make a big decision. We play early so we'll see in terms of selection."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could not help but sympathise with Manchester City after a VAR review disallowed the goal that would have sent them through to the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.

City beat Tottenham 4-3 on the day at the Etihad Stadium, though Spurs progressed to the last four on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

But that only tells part of the story, as City looked to be heading through when they went 4-2 up, only for Fernando Llorente to score 17 minutes from time – the goal allowed to stand despite a VAR review that appeared to show the ball hit the striker's hand on the way in.

Raheem Sterling then converted from close range deep into stoppage time to spark chaotic scenes of jubilation among the home support and Pep Guardiola's coaching staff, but VAR cruelly ended their celebrations, spotting Sergio Aguero had strayed marginally offside in the build-up and confirming Spurs' progress.

Unlike City, Klopp's Liverpool are into the semi-finals of the competition, and he felt sorry for the Premier League champions.

When asked on Friday whether elimination will help City domestically, Klopp told reporters: "[I've] no idea, but it was unbelievable. Seeing that, and then, wow!

"I really felt for them. Of course, everybody thought the ball was in and celebrated the goal. I know people would have said without VAR it was a clear goal and that's true, but we would still have had discussions afterwards.

"It was tough to take, I am 100 per cent sure, but on the other hand, big compliment to Tottenham, with all the problems they had, they went through.

"I said at the beginning of the season that Tottenham had the toughest summer of all of us, and not because of not signing anyone, but because these players had only two weeks of holiday.

"And they play this season? Unbelievable. And being in a game like this, and being ready like they were, scoring three goals at City is a massive thing. Of course, they deserve it as well, but the influence on the league? I have no idea. We will see."

Liverpool had little difficulty getting past Porto in the Champions League, progressing 6-1 on aggregate.

A trip to Cardiff City follows on Sunday and Klopp is eager for the squad's attitude to remain professional if they are to make the most of their potential.

"It's a super group," he said. "The boys are really close, but the mood and the atmosphere in the dressing room of [Manchester] City and Tottenham, [Manchester] United, Arsenal, Cardiff is really good as well.

"It's about how you mix up your potential with attitude. We obviously have a really good football team with good players, and mix it up with a world-class attitude and it makes you a difficult team to play. We did that from the first day of the season and so far it worked out.

"We are all aware of the difficulties of Sunday. Cardiff is a team that is used to defending with all they have. Outstanding set-pieces, a lot of physical power, which can make life uncomfortable.

"I understand you all want to talk about the positive season, but we don't think about that. We don't talk about Porto or Barcelona, we are really in the situation. We can talk after the season."

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