Bernardo Silva says Manchester City will welcome the pressure of chasing down Liverpool after beating their rivals to revive the title race.
City, the champions, moved back within four points of the Premier League leaders with a tense 2-1 win over the Reds in a frantic clash they could not afford to lose on Thursday.
Liverpool had arrived at the Etihad Stadium unbeaten and on a run of nine successive wins but City are now firmly back in the picture and Silva is relishing the challenge.
The Portuguese said: “We knew that if we lost it would almost be over because 10 points is a lot.
“Now four points we believe it is possible, knowing the Premier League is a very tough competition.
“The pressure was a little bit more onto us. We are happy with that, it is good. We are used to that kind of pressure.
“Happily the performance from everyone was good and we got three very important points against a fantastic team.”
The pace of the game was high and unrelenting but City prevailed thanks to superbly-taken goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane either side of a Roberto Firmino equaliser.
Liverpool were unlucky not to open the scoring when Sadio Mane hit the post and John Stones’ clearance almost rebounded into the net off Ederson. Stones recovered to clear off the line in the nick of time – with just 1.12 centimetres to spare, according to the goalline technology. The visitors could also argue Vincent Kompany might have been sent off for a lunge on Mohamed Salah but ultimately it was City who held their nerve.
“I think it was very good game,” said Silva. “Both teams were very intense, wanted to try to play football and win the game. Happily we won it.
“Everyone has to be very happy with the three points and the performance. It was a very intense game and we had to work a lot. We got the three points but that’s it and now we move on to the next one.”
City now seem to be back on track after three defeats in the space of four games in December but the title race now takes a back seat to domestic knockout football. City host Rotherham in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday before Burton visit the Etihad for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
City are next in Premier League action when they host Wolves on January 14.
Silva said: “Obviously when you win against the team that is top of the league it means a lot, for the confidence it is always good to beat them.
“But it is just a game. If we lose the next one this doesn’t mean anything. On to the next one and try to keep playing the same way as we have the last two games and try to not let happen what happened to us a few weeks back.”
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P