Pep Guardiola: Lesson from Manchester City win is 'never give up'

LIVERPOOL, England -- Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League and Pep Guardiola says his players were not ready to give up on their title challenge.

His side could have fallen seven points behind Liverpool after losing to Newcastle a week ago, but after Jurgen Klopp's side drew twice, the 2-0 victory over Everton on Wednesday saw City back on top on goal difference.

"It's much better but we have played one more game, it's the best we can do," Guardiola told a news conference. "One month ago we could have been 10 points behind with the game against Liverpool and seven days ago we could have been seven points behind. Now we are top of the league. What is the lesson? Never give up. That is the best advice for all athletes.

"Everything is in your hands, try to win your games because life changes immediately. That's why it is not necessary to look at the tables, just prepare well, recover well and prepare the game against Chelsea."

Aymeric Laporte scored the opening goal just before the break but the game was still in the balance until Gabriel Jesus scrambled in a second deep in injury time. It was City's second tough game in a week after beating Arsenal on Sunday with Maurizio Sarri's inconsistent Chelsea side to come to the Etihad this weekend.

"We started well with Arsenal and Everton but now comes a really, really big test -- a big bull," Guardiola added. "Chelsea is an exceptional team with seven days to prepare that game. We will try. We have to prepare well.

"This is a real final for us this weekend. If we are able to take these points, we are going to take a huge step forward.

"Normally when you play four competitions it happens. When I was a boy in Munich or Barcelona, I always read or listened to old managers like Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafa Benitez. The managers always complained about their schedules and nothing happened. That's why when I arrived here I said I understood the situation.

"If we would play just one competition our schedule would be easier and better. When we play four, we have to adapt. The Premier League say we have to play there on that day, we take the bus or the plane in the right time in the right moment and play that game."

The victory cranks more pressure on Liverpool after their slip-ups with draws against Leicester City and West Ham. Guardiola refused to be drawn on whether they are feeling the pace but predicts all the sides at the top will drop points before the end of the season.

"I don't know what the opponents think. Still there a lot of contenders to fight for the title. Last season we had a big advantage and this year no. I don't know what they think and I don't care really," he said. "It's a question for them. They have to play this game at Old Trafford so we will see. We are leaders but there are 12 games to play a lot of points.

"I think we are going to drop points -- hopefully as few as possible -- and the opponents are going to drop points. I don't think anyone is going to win 12 games in a row."