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Manchester City can ill-afford more mad minutes against Liverpool

(Ah Fat Talk Ball) - There are times when football appears to have been scripted by Hollywood's finest and others when the blunt realities of the game bring even the most confident down to earth.

Manchester City clinching the title at home against their local rivals Manchester United would have been the perfect happy ending to a wonderful season for Pep Guardiola's side.

Yet the body language as City left the field at the Etihad on Saturday after throwing away a two-goal lead and losing 3-2 told its own story.

City's players looked distraught and dejected, their heads were down and the swagger which had been so prominent throughout their entire campaign had gone.

The immediate implication of the loss was the postponement of their title celebrations, which will surely still happen at some stage in the coming weeks with Pep Guardiola's side enjoying a 13-point lead.

Three days earlier, City had been beaten 3-0 by Liverpool in their Champions League quarter-final, first leg.

The fear that the Anfield defeat may have severely damaged the players' confidence was assuaged by a first-half display against United in which City were back to their attacking and fluent best.

They led 2-0 at the break but it could easily have been a four or five-goal advantage had chances been taken. City were strutting again and the trauma of Anfield felt like it had been consigned to the past.

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