City's wide men Raheem Sterling and Mahrez played deeper than usual and limited the forward runs from Liverpool's fullbacks, while Guardiola's defence avoided the high line which proved so disastrous in defeats at Anfield last season.
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"I think both sides had phases in the game where they had better possession and obviously they had the penalty at the end but sometimes you need that bit of luck and we got it".
Liverpool have been touted as Manchester City's closest challengers for the Premier League this season and are now level with Pep Guardiola's side and Chelsea on 18 points after eight matches, having yet to be defeated in the league.
"It means you play for something if you play a lot of games: Champions League, the cups and the Premier League".
The injury is not thought to be severe, sources say, but it will likely see the 32-year-old miss some time. We got one, which is fine. For us it was a positive result and we'll take it.
"Yeah, if you play so quick they are much better than us", he said.
"He had the courage and the balls to hit the penalty", Guardiola said.
City probably asked more questions than Liverpool and such was their quality on the ball, they always looked in control and had Riyad Mahrez not missed his 86th minute penalty kick you couldn't argue with the reigning champs edging this one.
While Van Dijk said it showed how much of a threat the Reds posed to the defending champions, he felt greater consistency over the course of the season would be the key to a title challenge.
Yet in the Premier League, Spurs have so far largely overcome that mountain of difficulties to match their best-ever start under Mauricio Pochettino, with six wins from eight games. "Against a very good team we managed to do that". The Reds looked a little jaded midweek in the Champions League encounter away to Napoli, a game which they eventually lost 1-0 after a stoppage-time strike from Lorenzo Insigne.