Date of publication: Sunday 10 March 2019 10:02
Pep Guardiola has promised to continue the fight for the title in Manchester City for years after taking four points over Liverpool thanks to a victory inspired by Raheem Sterling and controversially launched against Watford.
The defending champions pitched the challenge to Jurgen Klopp's Reds on Saturday night as their fitness striker scored a hat trick in the second half in just 13 minutes and 12 seconds.
Sterling completed his treble in style, but the way the English international opened the scoring led to the latest offside controversy in the Premier League.
Appearing offside when Sergio Aguero played, referee Paul Tierney granted the goal after a lengthy consultation with assistant Eddie Smart after the ball rebounded thanks to Daryl Janmaat's permission.
"Well, I guess the first question would be this," Guardiola said at the post-match press conference.
"My first comment is that we won because we deserved to win by far. We were the best team on the field.
"Honestly, just in case he's offside, I'm sorry I do not want to do that but I do not know, really sorry if that's the case.
"Some referees say that's the case, sometimes another says no. But there is a simple solution.
"It should be here this season, but next season's VAR (will be implemented) and it will not be a problem, and it will be fairer.
"There have been other identical matches – an offside goal and a goal, diving games, penalties – so the dealer is helping us.
"At the start of the season, Manchester City voted in favor of installing this season's VAR and some other clubs did not accept it.
"So let's hope that next season, as in Europe, the VAR can be installed and this kind of situation will be right.
"So, I'm really sorry, please apologize to Javi (Gracia) and Watford club if the first goal is offside, but we made an incredible game and we played well in the first half."
Guardiola was frustrated with the issues surrounding arbitration and the complicated rules system, just as he was upset by a report he had had on the eve of the match. verbally accepted to join Juventus on a four-year contract.
"I have another two years here and I will not move," he said. "Impossible unless they saw me and then I went home.
"But if Manchester City wants me, I'll stay two more years, and I hope another.
"I'm not going to Juventus in the next two seasons."