Boxing Day: Manchester City 4-1 Sunderland / Liverpool 1-0 Leicester

The Premier League leader lost in Liverpool from a Benteke goal while Manchester City beat Sunderland at home. Arsenal will take the lead if they win at Southampton.

Coach MCFC Pellegrini reacts after the home win:

“We returned to our normal performance of playing attractive football, trying to scoring goals. I said after the Arsenal game it is difficult when you lose to discuss positive things but we had more than 60% of possession for the ball so that gave me some sign we were returning to our style.  When the team has a good performance, it is because they all play well.

We made good moments in attack and it is impossible for a team to have a good performance without high individual performances. Both things work together. Some players raised their performance and the team played the way we normally do every day of the week. We were playing too many games with the same 13 or 14 players. We left Kevin out for one game and now he has returned with the performance we know he can do every game.

David {Silva} is also coming back from a long injury and when David plays well, the whole team plays well. It is important to recover. I hope we have Kun 100% fit next week. With players 100% fit, we have more options to fight in all competitions. Kun {Aguero} was on the bench in case we needed him in the second half. In three days, we have a difficult game at Leicester and then 10 games in January.

He had a small problem so it was better for him not to take any risks. We were winning 3-0 in the first half so it was better for him to rest. He will be 100% on Tuesday”.

Coach Leicester Ranieri reacts after the loss at Anfield:

“We started to play so late, I don’t know why. In the first half we were very nervous, very anxious. We expected them to press very high and we wanted to play easy passes on the counter-attack. But we lose so many balls on the counter-attack that it gave Liverpool confidence and they continued to push up, which made it difficult for us. 

In the second half we conceded a goal from their first chance. We created another two or three chances to equalise and it was not possible. In the end, I think Liverpool deserved to win. It was unlucky, but sooner or later our first defeat away could happen. Now we have to clean our minds and focus on another fantastic match.” 

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