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Dublin: 21 °C Monday 15 July, 2019

We thought Liverpool had won the league, says City star

Bernardo Silva says the club were left demoralised by the defeat to Newcastle.

Bernardo Silva (file pic).
Bernardo Silva (file pic).

BERNARDO SILVA THOUGHT Manchester City had blown their title defence when they lost at Newcastle United last week.

A 2-1 reverse at St James’ Park handed Liverpool the chance to go seven points clear with victory over Leicester City.

But Harry Maguire cancelled out Sadio Mane’s opener to ensure a loss of two points for the Reds and West Ham’s Michail Antonio did likewise against Jurgen Klopp’s team on Monday.

In between those games, Pep Guardiola’s men saw off Arsenal 3-1 thanks to a Sergio Aguero hat-trick and goals in stoppage time at the end of each half from Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus sealed a 2-0 win at Everton on Wednesday — moving them above Liverpool on goal difference for the first time since December, albeit having played a game more.

“After Newcastle, it was very tough on us,” Portugal playmaker Silva told reporters.

“We were very disappointed, more than anyone else. The players, the staff, we were all very sad, because we all thought we had lost the league in that game.

“Fortunately, Liverpool drew against Leicester and that gave us a little bit of hope. Then there was another draw against West Ham and that meant the race was on.

Mentally, this is a big boost for us. We will try to keep doing our job and not ­relax as we did against ­Newcastle.”

City face another stern test on Sunday when they host Chelsea, having suffered their first Premier League defeat of the campaign against Maurizio Sarri’s side last time they ceded top spot to Liverpool.

After that comes an FA Cup fifth-round trip to take on giant-killers Newport County and a Champions League last-16 visit to Schalke before reconvening with Chelsea in the EFL Cup final.

Silva, who was identified as a standout performer of late by Guardiola, has no doubt his team-mates are equipped to battle for honours on four fronts.

“In my opinion, it is not problematic at all — especially when you have a squad like ours,” he added.

“If we don’t have injuries then I think we can cope, no problem at all. It is good to have lots of games as it means we are fighting for everything. Mentally it is good. We will try to do it.”

Following a tough Six Nations opening defeat to England, Joe Schmidt will look to regroup against a dangerous Scotland side. This week, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey are joined by Bernard Jackman to assess the damage of last weekend and look ahead to the clash in Murrayfield:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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