Guardiola defends Mahrez after penalty miss

Liverpool FC v Manchester City - Premier League
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City reacts after a missed chance during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on October 7, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has leapt to Riyad Mahrez’s defence following his penalty miss at Liverpool on Sunday

The Algerian winger shot his 86th-minute penalty-kick over the crossbar at Anfield, which left City to settle for a goalless draw with title rivals Liverpool.

But Guardiola defended Mahrez and explained his reasons for choosing him to take the spot-kick over Gabriel Jesus.

“He had the courage and the balls to hit the penalty,” Guardiola said on the club website.

“In the training session he shoots perfect penalties, and okay, this sometimes happens, so at the end it is what it is.”

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Meanwhile, City defender John Stones added: “So close, it is one of those things in football. Riyad Mahrez was taking them really well in training all week, but it happens and we have to move on.”

“I think it was just decided between the boys. Riyad was taking them well in training all week and had the courage to step up

“He is deflated and I think he feels he let us down, but he gave everything and he kept the ball well, and had he scored it would have made his day. These things happen.”

Mahrez has scored seven of his 12 penalties in the Premier League.

Nevertheless, Guardiola was pleased with the point earned at Liverpool.

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