Date: 27th December 2013 at 11:24am
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Liverpool may have lost 2-1 to Manchester City on Boxing Day but Kop boss Brendan Rodgers was proud of the performance…

Despite seeing his side surrender top spot as their four match winning streak came to an end, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was keen to take positives from his side’s display.

The Reds were more than a match for title favourites Manchester City at the Etihad on Thursday and on another day could conceivably have emerged with all three points.

As it was, Philippe Coutinho‘s 24th minute strike got cancelled out by further first half goals from Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Rodgers described the performance of his players as ‘outstanding’.

“They really took the game to a team that is a top, top side full of top European players,” continued the 40-year-old.

“We’re disappointed not to have won the game, never mind losing the game. We showed great confidence and belief, scored a wonderful goal and could have had a few more.

“We’ve things to learn from the goals we conceded, which were disappointing…

“I am very proud of the team. I was here at the Bayern Munich game when Bayern were outstanding, but apart from that every other team Manchester City have played here – really good sides as well – they’ve scored a hatful of goals against.

“Everybody walking away from the stadium would feel we at least deserved a point from tonight – and we’re disappointed we haven’t won.”

Defeat against Manuel Pellegrini’s men, coupled with wins for Chelsea and Arsenal, means Liverpool are now fourth in the Premier League standings.

Rodgers will be hopeful for a better display from the officials when he takes his team to London for a fixture with Chelsea on Sunday.

A number of dubious decisions by the officials punctuated an otherwise enthralling encounter and Liverpool often found themselves on the wrong end, not least when Raheem Sterling had a goal ruled out for off-side.

“I never go on about officials but I thought they were horrendous,” complained Rodgers.

“The linesman gave Raheem offside in the first half but they were not even on the same cut of grass. If you are working at this level you have got to get those right.

“I’m asking young players to make those runs, he does it perfectly, and is given offside.

“There was another incident in the second half when Luis should have had a free-kick on the edge of the box and arguably there was a penalty late on.

“Luis can’t jump because Lescott’s [Joleon – City defender] tugging at his shirt…

“I was surprised that we are playing in Manchester and we had a referee from Greater Manchester.

“I was surprised when I saw it but that’s by the by. For Liverpool against Manchester City, I don’t think we’d get an official from Wirral.”

Liverpool will head to Stamford Bridge with a top four finish still firmly in sight and a sustained title bid not out of the question.

Rodgers added: “I think people will go away and look at us as a team that’s hopefully going to be up there challenging.

“Our main objective is to set up camp in the top four. That’s what this club has been striving for, for a number of years. But we’ve shown consistently over this year that we’re hopefully going to be in with a right good chance of doing that this season.

“I think performances like tonight and at Tottenham show that we have the quality to do that. We didn’t get the points, but we’ll recover well now and get onto the next game.”

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