Riyad Mahrez's penalty miss for Manchester City against Liverpool

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"If somebody would have told me after eight matchdays you have 20 points, I would say with that fixture list, 'I'll buy it, let's start with the ninth matchday!'", said Klopp.

City, always committed to all-out attack, were literally over-run in those spells and could not recover.

The second half was a better spectacle for the crowd, who witnessed four attempts around the hour mark, with three of them falling for the visitors.

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Algeria global Mahrez blazed the resulting spot-kick over, but City will still go into the worldwide break on top of the Premier League table.

Liverpool were tipped as the main contenders for defending champions City in the build up to the campaign and have lived up to the billing so far.

"We were lucky in that situation but we deserved it, a bit of luck, because with the performance the boys showed today, it's just good", he said. They didn't have one shot on target.

"And Arsenal are two points behind and they won six games in a row".

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With the clash against Liverpool so important in the battle for the Premier League title, it remains to be seen whether De Bruyne could feature or it is merely mind games from Guardiola.

Their west London neighbors Chelsea have made an altogether more impressive start to the season and remain undefeated with nine wins from 11 competitive games this season.

Liverpool's defence, built around £67m goalkeeper Alisson and £75m central defender Virgil van Dijk, has had much of its vulnerability removed - but the attacking trident that terrorised teams last season is not now firing on all cylinders.

Klopp can take comfort from a run of four games in all competitions without a win by studying the Premier League table, which has them in third place, only behind City and Chelsea on goal difference. Aguero is City's usual penalty-taker, but he had been substituted, leading to an on-field discussion as to who would take it.

"Those sorts of moments can go both ways in games". As it was we didn't score and they could have got a goal so we had to stay switched on.

Liverpool's front three had been deadly in those Anfield games last season but they created little on Sunday, with the home side's rhythm further disrupted by a first-half injury to James Milner.

Their time will surely come again - and when it does Liverpool's title aspirations will carry even greater weight.

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