Pep Guardiola explained that Manchester City couldn’t play "an open game" against Liverpool at Anfield and he was happy with how his side performed on Sunday.
City played out a goalless draw with Liverpool, a side Guardiola considers the best counter-attacking team in the world at the moment. Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty as both sides took a point each.
"If we played quickly, they are better than us. If you make mistakes, they punish you," Guardiola told his post-match news conference. "We like to wait, to build up the spaces. It is not easy.
"If it's an open game at Anfield, you do not have one chance, not one per cent. They are so good with that - it is why we had Bernardo Silva, it was important to have that base.
"At [moving] up and down quickly, maybe - no, not maybe, I am pretty sure - they are the best team in the world at these transitions, defensively to offensively, because it is built for that. In that situation, they are much better than us.”
Guardiola added: "I'm so comfortable with the performance we have done. They had one shot on target.
"To do that at Anfield is so complicated, because everybody knows against which team we are playing. After eight fixtures, to be consistent and to be still there like a team.
"We missed a little bit of creativity but it is not easy because they are so strong and good. [Dejan] Lovren was at the final of the World Cup, [Virgil] Van Dijk is a top defender, [Joe] Gomez is in good form.
"They are the masters of the second ball. Don't lose the ball in dangerous positions because [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah have the pace. That is why we were so good."