City, now on 84 points in the league table, will be confirmed champions if they beat United who are second on 68 points. With City still boasting a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League despite their first home league defeat of the season, Guardiola showed his priorities lay with the Champions League before kick-off.
"I don't agree with him, he played good, he did what we spoke (about)", he added.
That was still 10 minutes slower than Liverpool's three-goal salvo at the start of the second half in a 4-3 Premier League win over City in January. "We are going to try".
City's entire performance was bad, they couldn't cope with the relentless pressure from Liverpool and constantly misplaced passes, even when Salah went off injured and Liverpool sat back to take off the pressure, City never got into the game or even got a shot on target. "We will convince ourselves tomorrow", said the three-time Champions League victor, once as a player and twice as a coach of Barcelona.
"It is a shock for all of us, given that to concede six goals in two games is not the reality of our team".
Publicly Guardiola is refusing to accept Manchester City is out of the contest ahead of next week's second leg at the Etihad. Some penalties in the first half, some in the second half but we have to improve.
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"They're nearly qualified but we have 90 minutes".
On that episode, Guardiola has said: "Normally when the police know it is going to happen, they tried to avoid it from happening". I have to see the players on the pitch and see how they feel.
Midfielder Fernandinho said: "Two defeats in a row is something we hadn't experienced before". Just like City's play at Anfield on Wednesday when Guardiola's tactics were pulled apart, not for the first time at this level in recent years. "And we didn't close it".
"And, of course, now it is not done, so the people say, "you're going to win". We were very active in all parts of the game, ideal in the spaces, very lively closing the gaps", he said, before praising his defence.
"My motivation is to finish second", said the Portuguese, who confirmed that defenders Phil Jones and Daley Blind have returned to training, leaving goalkeeper Sergio Romero as the only player on the sidelines.