Chelsea endured a frustrating start to the post-Graham Potter era as they shared a 0-0 Premier League draw with Liverpool, a VAR check denying Kai Havertz a winner at Stamford Bridge.

Interim Blues boss Bruno Saltor saw his team create plenty of chances against a much-changed Reds side after Jurgen Klopp omitted Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and other key players from his starting XI. 

However, Chelsea's familiar attacking woes were on full display as Havertz saw a potentially decisive strike ruled out for handball to cap a wasteful performance.

While the result keeps Chelsea inside the bottom half, Liverpool failed to make up ground on their rivals for a top-four finish as their winless run was extended to four games across all competitions. 

Chelsea started brightly as Mateo Kovacic forced Ibrahima Konate into a sliding goal-line clearance, before Alisson smothered Havertz's close-range flick following good work from Ben Chilwell.

Reece James thought he had volleyed Chelsea ahead after 24 minutes, but an offside call against Enzo Fernandez in the build-up saw his powerful finish chalked off.

Having offered virtually nothing as an attacking force, Liverpool almost snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time, Wesley Fofana crucially deflecting Fabinho's volley around the post.

Kovacic fired over from a glaring one-on-one chance after the interval, before Havertz was denied the opener by a VAR review when the German's tame finish bounced back off Alisson and found the net via his arm.

Joao Felix sent a wild volley over as Chelsea continued to create the clearest opportunities late on, with even the introduction of Salah failing to inspire out-of-form Liverpool.


Virgil van Dijk has been ruled out of Liverpool's Premier League trip to Chelsea through illness, with Mohamed Salah surprisingly named on the bench as Jurgen Klopp makes six changes to his side.

Van Dijk reportedly missed training after feeling unwell ahead of Tuesday's game at Stamford Bridge, where Liverpool are looking to end a run of three successive defeats either side of the international break.

The defender previously missed seven games with a hamstring injury in January and February, with the Reds suffering demoralising defeats at Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves in his absence.

Van Dijk is not the only notable absentee from Klopp's starting lineup in west London, with Salah joining Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson in dropping to the bench.

Joe Gomez and Konstantinos Tsimikas replace the full-back pair, while Curtis Jones, Joel Matip, Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino have been brought in, with Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo also replaced. 

Chelsea's interim head coach Bruno Saltor, meanwhile, has made two changes to the side that began Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa – a result that led to Graham Potter's dismissal.

N'Golo Kante will captain Chelsea on his first Premier League start since last August, with Wesley Fofana the second player introduced by former Brighton and Hove Albion full-back Bruno.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mykhailo Mudryk are both named on the bench after starting the defeat against Villa, a result that left Chelsea mired inside the Premier League's bottom half.

Jurgen Klopp sees chances for Liverpool's fringe players to push for inclusion, suggesting just a handful of his squad are safe amid rough form.

The Reds slipped to a 4-1 loss against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, their third straight defeat across all competitions.

Only a slew of fortunate results elsewhere has kept them in eighth place, and still in the hunt to secure European qualification after a poor season.

But ahead of Tuesday's trip to Chelsea, Klopp acknowledges plenty of spots are up for grabs amid the lacklustre efforts of his regular picks.

"We have opportunities to change, and we have to change," he told Sky Sports News. "We cannot just close our eyes and say 'the same again and again'.

"We have to change, and now the door is miles open for everybody to get into the team because there's only two or three who have their spot safe.

"The boys know, that's one thing I told them. We have to fight through this, that's the only way.

"You cannot play a little bit of here and there, or play with a backheel five times in a row and [hope] something will happen

"You have to really open your eyes, put everything straight and go. That's what we will do."

Klopp was public in his evisceration of his squad following their capitulation against City, but the German is unconcerned that his words may harm morale.

"The players feel very responsible for everything, so there's not one player in the dressing room who doesn't care," he added.

"We were underperforming in almost every other position and that doesn't help. None of the performances were great, and you cannot play like that against City.

"You cannot play like that in the Premier League. The next opponent requires everything we have to offer and that's what we prepare for."

Chelsea are regrouping again after their second coaching departure of the season, with Bruno Saltor tasked with taking on Liverpool on Tuesday.

Former Brighton and Hove Albion defender Bruno arrived at Stamford Bridge along with Graham Potter when he was appointed in place of Thomas Tuchel in September.

But Potter has also now been sacked, leaving Bruno in interim charge for a daunting first fixture at home to Liverpool.

It is at least a game that has relatively little riding on it for Chelsea, who are 11th in the Premier League with little chance of recovering Champions League qualification.

Still, Bruno knows there is always pressure for his players and has been taking preparation for the match seriously.

"[We are] seeing it as an opportunity for the players," he said. "We are representing Chelsea, a club with an amazing history.

"It is about winning, it is about dominating, and what we need to do is prepare for the game.

"Preparation helps a lot for performance, and that is what the players need to focus on."

Despite the disruption, Bruno suggested his Chelsea team would "keep as close as we can" to the side that lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, having believed the Blues "dominated".

Meanwhile, Liverpool's preparations have been a little more routine, although Jurgen Klopp's side have had little opportunity to get over Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.


"We cannot work on the pitch, that's it," Klopp said on Monday. "Games like [City] have an impact. We might lose more confidence, but the desire to show a reaction is there as well. The boys are still good people.

"The short turnaround is a problem; at this moment, I have no clue who I can line up. We have to give the boys time to recover.

"There will be changes, definitely – 48 hours, then you travel, wait in London for the kick-off, it's all here [in the mind]. That's what we are working on."


Chelsea – Kai Havertz

Chelsea need to rediscover their scoring touch, having failed to net in five home games this season, including four since the turn of the year.

Meanwhile, their shot conversion rate of 8.2 per cent is their lowest since records began in 1997-98. But Havertz had looked to be finding form before the Villa defeat, scoring in three consecutive games in all competitions.

Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

Chelsea let Salah go, and he has taken great enjoyment from punishing them ever since. He has four goals in 11 Premier League games against the Blues, with only Kevin De Bruyne (five) netting more goals against Chelsea among former players.

Salah was the last ex-Blue to score a league goal at Stamford Bridge, back in January 2022.



Liverpool are unbeaten in their past four Premier League away games against Chelsea, although they have never gone five league matches without defeat at Stamford Bridge.

There have been two Reds wins across those four games, but the past five meetings between Chelsea and Liverpool in all competitions have ended as draws. In fact, their past three encounters have finished goalless.

Chelsea will kick off in 11th, their lowest position this late in a season since their penultimate game in 1995-96, when they were also 11th when playing Tottenham. That game was also drawn.


Chelsea - 31.1 per cent

Liverpool - 40.2 per cent

Draw - 28.7 per cent

Interim Chelsea head coach Bruno Saltar believes Graham Potter did "an amazing job" at the club despite his dismissal.

The Blues cut ties with Potter on Sunday following a defeat to Aston Villa that saw the club drop into the bottom half of the Premier League standings.

Potter's departure came fewer than seven months after his appointment at Stamford Bridge, where he succeeded Champions League winning coach Thomas Tuchel, and on the back of a vast spending spree in the January window.

Inability to get the best out of Chelsea's array of recruits, with a lack of goals a major issue, ultimately led to Potter's exit.

Despite all of that, Potter did an impressive job in west London in the eyes of Bruno.

"I'm here right now because Graham and the club thought that was the right step, I'm here to just try to help the club and be the most professional I can," he said at a pre-match press conference.

"I'm just trying to keep the process going, to collaborate the best that we can. I think Graham did an amazing job. Football is a really complex business and we have to keep going.

"It's been really difficult at every single level, you have to deal with the press conference, you have to deal with the players. It's difficult to deal with it, it's been a really difficult 12 hours."

Bruno faces a baptism of fire at Stamford Bridge, with his first game coming against top-four chasing Liverpool, and he expressed his admiration for opposing boss Jurgen Klopp.

"We have to see it as an opportunity for the players. We're representing Chelsea, a club with amazing history, who are about winning, about dominating," he added.

"We need to prepare for the game, preparation helps a lot with performance. That's what players need to focus on.

"Obviously I have pure admiration towards Jurgen. I can't say anything other than what everyone knows. They're going through a tough season as well, but have top players.

"We're expecting a tough game, that's aggressive because they have high intensity players."

Jurgen Klopp feels like "the elephant in the room" after Graham Potter was sacked by Chelsea on Sunday.

Potter was dismissed less than seven months into his tenure at Stamford Bridge, following a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa that left Chelsea 11th in the Premier League.

Next up for the Blues is a home game against Liverpool, with Klopp's side licking their wounds after Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Manchester City.

Liverpool are enduring a miserable season by their lofty standards. The Reds are eighth, eight points back from fourth-placed Manchester United, having lost nine league games, while they are out of the FA Cup and Champions League.

And Klopp is aware it is the success of previous campaigns that is keeping him in a job.

"The elephant in the room is why I'm still sitting here, in this crazy world. Last man standing," Klopp told reporters.

"I'm aware of the fact that I'm sitting here because of the past, not because of what we did this season.

"If it was my first season, that would be slightly different. Yes, we have smart owners, they know about the situation, but you better ask them yourselves."

Asked if he was afraid of becoming the 13th Premier League boss to lose their job this season, Klopp replied: "No, no. But I don't think that Graham was afraid!

"There's no need to be afraid, I'm here to deliver. I'm not here as a talisman or whatever, or for murals on walls. I'm here to deliver, nothing else in my mind. But I know I'm here because of the last few years.

"I don't like the fact that I have to pretty much rely on that. Is it right or not? We will see in the future. I am fully in, there's no doubt, but we have to sort it.

"We cannot just continue playing like we do from time to time. Not always, thank God, but from time to time – it's really not allowed. I'm really disappointed by us, that we do these kind of things, but they happen. We have to find a way out, that's what we're working on."

Potter's dismissal followed on from Brendan Rodgers losing his job at Leicester City, with the Foxes in 19th place.

The pair of departures came a week on from Tottenham cutting ties with Antonio Conte.

"I think both clubs [Chelsea and Leicester] are not where they expect to be," Klopp said. "I cannot say a lot more about it. I respect them a lot. I like them both. When I met them, really good people, fantastic managers, both of them, but still, things can go the wrong way.

"When decision-makers at a club think they have to change, then they change. I think we all accept that's part of the business.

"That's it, a strange week. Conte was the last week, [Julian] Nagelsmann [sacked by Bayern Munich], and now these two. The season gets into a decisive part and people are afraid of maybe not reaching their targets.

"You would have to ask the decisive people what they will say about it. For all four I mentioned, the managing future is still bright. It's not a disaster."

Klopp was unsure how much Potter's dismissal would impact Chelsea, noting he expects the Blues to set up in a similar system.

One thing he was sure about was the reaction that is required from Liverpool.

"As badly [needed] as possible," Klopp said, before calling the defeat to City a "super strange game".

"It's unacceptable, but it happened anyway. Now we have to make sure we are ready, that's it," he added.

Chelsea sacked Graham Potter on Sunday after barely seven months as their manager.

Potter, who took over from Thomas Tuchel in September, led the Blues to 12 wins, eight draws and 11 defeats.

His demise comes amid numerous changes of managers at Premier League clubs, with Tottenham last week parting with Antonio Conte.


Chelsea have identified ex-Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann as their top candidate and approached him already, claims Fabrizio Romano.

Romano said talks will be ongoing before a final decision, while he added the Blues hierarchy are admirers of Sporting boss Ruben Amorim.

However, Sky Sports Germany claims Nagelsmann is not interested in taking over at Chelsea.

TalkSPORT claims the dismissed Potter could be offered an immediate return to management by Leicester City who sacked Brendan Rodgers earlier on Sunday.



– AS claims that Paris Saint-Germain winger Kylian Mbappe has told the Real Madrid board that he intends to join Los Blancos as a free agent in 2024. According to the report, Madrid are not willing to negotiate a transfer fee with PSG, following their long-running interest in Mbappe, with the player needing to get out of his contract to move to the Spanish capital.

Liverpool will consider an off-season move for Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, reports The Independent.

– Fichajes claims Liverpool are also weighing up a surprise move for Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.

– Football Insider claims Arsenal have identified three midfield targets in Everton's Amadou Onana, West Ham's Declan Rice and Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

Manchester United's hopes of signing Eintracht Frankfurt forward Randal Kolo Muani have been set back with the Frenchman keen to join Bayern Munich in the off-season.

Manchester City's 4-1 victory over Liverpool on Saturday showed they can cope without Erling Haaland, believes Kevin De Bruyne.

The forward, who leads the Premier League charts with 28 goals this term, missed out on his side's clash with the Reds through injury.

Despite his absence, Pep Guardiola's hosts still ran rampant at the Etihad Stadium to keep up the pressure on Arsenal in the title race.

For De Bruyne, victory reinforced the suggestion City can cope without their first-choice frontman, with the Belgian pointing to Argentina's World Cup winner Julian Alvarez as a handy understudy.

"Erling is an unbelievable player, but we've been winning loads of games in the last eight years that I've been here," he told City's website.

"He's an additional piece that helps us a lot, but we know if he's not there, we have Julian who is a World Cup winner.

"I don't think it's a bad replacement we have as a team-mate. Everybody knows their task and whoever is on the pitch will do the job."

Saturday's result saw City stay eight points off the heels of the Gunners, with a game in hand as they aim to reel them in at the summit.

Though their title chances are technically out of their own hands, De Bruyne still expects them to push Arsenal all the way, as they also compete in the FA Cup and Champions League.

"Obviously, we know we are behind," he added. "We are still doing a really good job and are playing in three competitions.

"To be [at] this stage of the season and to be there means you've been consistent.

"In the league, Arsenal have been a little bit better than us, but we can try and win as many games as possible and see where we end up."

Josko Gvardiol won plenty of admirers during Croatia's run to the 2022 World Cup semi-finals.

The 21-year-old central defender is contracted until 2027, but has a hefty release clause that will become active in 2024.

As a result, clubs are likely to be competing to secure the Croatian's services in the next transfer window.


Manchester City and Real Madrid have both made RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol their priority centre-back target for the next transfer window, according to 90min.

The report claims Leipzig wants £75m (€85m) for the Croatian defender, who almost joined Chelsea last off-season.

City and Real are also both in contention to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, complicating the Gvardiol move.

The report also claims City are willing to offload Aymeric Laporte to help facilitate any move.



Liverpool are the favourites ahead of Manchester City in the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount in the off-season, reports Football Insider.

Manchester United are keeping an eye on Joao Felix 's situation with the Atletico Madrid forward currently on loan at Chelsea, claims Mundo Deportivo. Chelsea have been linked with a permanent deal for the Portuguese.

– The Sun claims Leicester City are keen on re-signing Harry Maguire on loan from Manchester United amid talk he will exit Old Trafford.

Arsenal 's desire to land Dusan Vlahovic from Juventus could see the Gunners offer up Granit Xhaka and Nicolas Pepe as part of a deal, reports Calciomercatoweb.

– Fichajes claims Manchester City and Chelsea will battle it out to sign Milan full-back Theo Hernandez.

Barcelona have prioritised a move for Liverpool winger Luis Diaz in the next transfer window, according to Fichajes.

Arsenal and Manchester City matched each other stride for stride and goal for goal on Saturday.

The Gunners restored their eight-point advantage over Pep Guardiola's side with a 4-1 victory over Leeds United at Emirates Stadium, shortly after City had downed Liverpool by the same scoreline in the early Premier League kick-off.

Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford continued their tussle for European football with an entertaining 3-3 draw – Alexis Mac Allister's 90th-minute penalty levelling the scores.

Meanwhile, it was another grim day for Graham Potter's Chelsea, who lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to Aston Villa.

Man City 4-1 Liverpool: Pep hits century to end Reds' run

City successfully navigated a potential stumbling block with relative ease, responding after falling a goal behind to secure Guardiola's 100th Premier League win at the Etihad Stadium.

Those wins came from just 128 matches (D16 L12), with Guardiola becoming the fastest manager to reach a century of home wins in the competition, beating Arsene Wenger's previous record of 139 games with Arsenal.

Ahead of kick-off, all the focus was on the absence of Erling Haaland, but it is not wise to overlook his understudy Julian Alvarez, who took his tally to six goals in seven starts for City in the Premier League – five of which have come at home.

For Liverpool, the loss represents an eighth away defeat of the season, their most in a single season since 2014-15 (also eight).

The Reds also saw a run of 44 matches unbeaten when scoring first in the Premier League snapped, having won their last 22 such matches in a row, with the loss their first in that regard since a 3-1 defeat to Leicester City in February 2021.

Jurgen Klopp's side have now conceded 30 Premier League goals against City, 11 more than they have against any other opponent.

Arsenal 4-1 Leeds United: Gunners no April's Fools

City laid down the marker with their win against Liverpool but Arsenal are a forced to be reckoned with on April 1, winning all seven of their Premier League games on the date with a 25-3 aggregate score – the best 100 per cent win record for any side on any date.

The Gunners are in their stride, scoring three or more goals in three consecutive league matches for the first time since October 2015.

With Bukayo Saka rested, Mikel Arteta's supporting cast shone. Leandro Trossard claimed his seventh assist since his January switch, more than anyone else in that timeframe, while Gabriel Jesus' brace took his season tally to seven – all of which have come in London.

It was Leeds' 17th Premier League defeat to Arsenal, equalling their worst record against a single opponent having lost the same number against both Liverpool and Manchester United.

If Javi Gracia wanted a positive, he need look no further than Rasmus Kristensen who, having failed to score in his first 15 league appearances, has now been on the scoresheet in back-to-back matches.

Brighton and Hove Albion 3-3 Brentford: Seagulls swarm after frantic first half

After just 28 minutes, both sides had celebrated two goals, marking the earliest time each team had scored twice in a game since Burnley's clash against Chelsea in April 2019.

Mac Allister's dramatic late equaliser was a deserved reward for the hosts, who became the first side on record (since 2003-04) to see all 10 of their outfield starters have at least two efforts on goal in a single Premier League game.

The Seagulls peppered Brentford's goal throughout, registering 33 shots and 15 attempts on target, both of which are the highest totals in any game this season from all clubs.

Though the late equaliser will sting the Bees, Thomas Frank's side have lost just one of their last 16 Premier League matches (W7 D8).

Ivan Toney's goals have been invaluable for Brentford, particularly on the road, with nine of his 17 league goals this season coming away from home – only Haaland and Harry Kane have more (both 10).

Chelsea 0-2 Aston Villa: Blues lack home comforts 

Suffering defeat and failing to score at home for the fourth time this season, Chelsea equalled their worst-ever seasons in that regard (1994-95 and 2019-20) and slipped into the bottom half in the process.

The Blues certainly pushed hard for a goal. They had 27 attempts – their most without scoring in a Premier League match since January 2014.

Villa continue to be revitalised under Unai Emery, with only Arsenal (13) and Manchester City (10) securing more victories in the Premier League than the Villans (nine) since the Spaniard's appointment on November 6.

Ollie Watkins stole the show, scoring in a fifth consecutive Premier League away game, the first Villa player to achieve that feat, and hitting double figures for goals for the third consecutive season – something only Mohamed Salah and Kane can also boast.

Liverpool's coach sustained damage following the Reds' 4-1 defeat at Manchester City, who are assisting a police investigation into the incident.

City dispatched Liverpool with little fuss in Saturday's early Premier League encounter.

However, City subsequently confirmed their opponents' team bus had been damaged by an object thrown at it during its return journey.

"We understand an object was thrown towards the coach in a residential area," a City statement read.

"Incidents of this kind are totally unacceptable, and we strongly condemn the actions of the individual(s) responsible.

"We will fully support Greater Manchester Police's investigation into this incident in any way we can."

City also condemned "inappropriate chants" from sections of the home support.

"We regret any offence these chants may have caused and will continue to work with supporter groups and officials from both clubs to eradicate hateful chanting from this fixture," their statement added.

Jurgen Klopp said his Liverpool team likely would not have beaten Manchester City even if they had been reduced to 10 men.

City were fortunate that Rodri escaped a second yellow card in the first half after a cynical foul on Cody Gakpo, before Pep Guardiola's side went on to thrash the visitors 4-1 to record their fourth league win in a row.

Mohamed Salah had given Liverpool an early lead before goals from Julian Alvarez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish emphatically turned things around.

Klopp, though, does not feel Rodri escaping a red card was too much of a pivotal moment. 

"Could [Rodri] have got a second yellow? Yes, probably, but he will not get it now," Klopp said at a post-match press conference.

"I'm not sure we would have won today against 10 men, to be honest."

Liverpool toiled at the Etihad Stadium, particularly after falling behind in the first minute of the second half, only having four shots to City's 17 overall and having less than 25 per cent possession in the second half.

"I think around four performances we were OK," Klopp suggested.

"The two midfielders, [Jordan Henderson] and [Fabinho] worked a lot, tried to close gaps, Cody especially in possession, and [Alisson] of course, then that's obviously very difficult, if you want to get something from here then you have to have 11... 14-15 players have to be on top of their game.

"After being 3-1 down, it's anyway difficult to come back here... we had one opportunity for 3-2 with Robbo down the left side... but apart from that City could do what they want because the spaces were too big, so we were rather lucky they only scored one more."

Liverpool have already lost five league games in 2023, one more than in the entirety of 2022, and face Chelsea away and Arsenal at home in their next two outings as they look to get their top-four hopes back on track.

Jurgen Klopp vented his frustrations at Liverpool's capitulation against Manchester City, suggesting there was "nothing good" about their performance.

The Reds struck first at the Etihad Stadium through Mohamed Salah but subsequently fell to a 4-1 defeat against Pep Guardiola's champions in the Premier League.

Despite the absence of leading goalscorer Erling Haaland through injury, the hosts dismantled their visitors in ruthless fashion, with a trio of second-half goals doing the damage.

The nature of Liverpool's concessions after the break left their manager fuming at their display, ruing their inability to shut down their opponents throughout a crucial encounter.

"We just had to follow as they did whatever they wanted," he told BT Sport. "We were lucky they were not in a greedy mood. There is nothing good to say about this game.

"This is a game we have to use, and make clear which things cannot happen [going forward]. We cannot not have challenges in key areas, or be that open.

"I stand here and have to explain it, but I cannot explain it. I cannot change it now, I can [only] report what I saw. We will talk about it tomorrow [but] these things happened too often."

Having gone into the interval all square following Julian Alvarez's equaliser, Kevin De Bruyne's finish less than a minute into the second half set the tone for Liverpool's collapse.

Further goals for Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish meant the Reds missed the chance to close the five-point gap to fifth-place Newcastle, who have a game in hand on them too.

Klopp was at a loss for their complete reversal, telling BBC Match of the Day: "The first half was one we've seen a few times. We played calm, composed and caused them problems.

"But coming out after half-time and conceding two quick goals broke everything down. How we conceded is difficult to accept. [It is] absolutely not acceptable to be honest."

"City [were] completely in control after that. We were open and they could do whatever they wanted. That they only scored one more goal, it could've been different and that's really bad news for us."

Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City's 4-1 Premier League victory against Liverpool as one of the best in his time at the club. 

City thrashed Liverpool on Saturday to, at least temporarily, close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to five points.

Having gone down to an early Mohamed Salah finish, City – shorn of Erling Haaland – levelled before half-time when Julian Alvarez converted Jack Grealish's cross to complete a flowing move. 

City completed the comeback in emphatic style with a commanding second-half performance – goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Grealish wrapping up a memorable day at the Etihad Stadium and leaving Guardiola to revel in his side's performance. 

"From minute one to minute 93, it was a perfect performance," Guardiola told BT Sport.  

"Even when we conceded the goal we were playing really well. Of course, there is always a threat they have especially on the transition, but we played really good – one of the best performances in my seven years.

"Even after the goal, we continued with our idea that we had because players know that we weren't playing badly. We stayed in control and continued to keep playing and had a little word at half-time about our process. 

"Of course and we were lucky to score the second goal but the game was always stable through 93 minutes."

City’s win was headlined by a superb display by Grealish, who scored one and set up another. 

"This season is the Jack we knew could help us," Guardiola said of Grealish.

"He tracked back at 1-0 to help us when Salah had the chance to lay off but with the ball, he and Riyad [Mahrez] were exceptional. I can't name one better than the other - they were all exceptional."

An injury to Haaland meant City's top goalscorer was forced to watch from the stands with Alvarez deputising superbly in his absence.

"Not just the goal but the play with the second and the third. With the ball, he is so clever and an exceptional player," Guardiola said. 

"I think the club made an incredible signing for the price. He's playing in the World Cup champions for Argentina alongside Messi for a reason because he has something."

Jack Grealish revealed he overcame illness to play a starring role in Manchester City's victory over Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola's side maintained the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal, reducing the deficit to five points after coming from behind to run out 4-1 winners at the Etihad Stadium.

Grealish assisted Julian Alvarez for the hosts' first goal - cancelling out Mohamed Salah's opener - before getting on the scoresheet himself to seal the victory 16 minutes from time.

The England international's contribution to clinching another important three points was all the more impressive considering he did not feel at his best. 

"We knew it was going to be a tough game playing against Liverpool," he told BT Sport. "The first game after the international break is always difficult, so we wanted to start it right – this last period of the season.

"Liverpool are so dangerous with the players they have up front, so we went 1-0 down. Then you don't fear the worst, but think it's going to be a tough game to get back into. We responded brilliantly and thought we were excellent, especially in the second half.

"We had a chat between ourselves and with the manager [at half-time], and he said we have to stay in the game. I thought we were good [in the] first half apart from the goal. I was in the toilet at half-time, I felt sick all morning but fine now, I feel buzzing."

Grealish continued his resurgence having now been directly involved in eight Premier League goals since the World Cup (scored three, assisted five), and he feels that normal service has been resumed with his side looking to hunt down Arsenal.

"I love it - I love playing, training," he continued. "When it's going well, there's nothing better. I feel back to my normal self, feel fit and back to confidence - scoring and getting the assist.

"Arsenal are a great team, it's in their hands, so we've just got to keep doing what we can to chase them down."

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