Kevin De Bruyne believes that the fight for the title will be difficult for both Manchester City and Liverpool.
The two title rivals played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in their much-hyped Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The match had been widely heralded as a title decider, but while the result ensured City retained their lead at the top, their lead with seven games remaining is just one point.
“Whoever wins this game, I never thought it would be whoever wins the game, wins the title,” said City midfielder De Bruyne, who lit up the touchpaper for a convincing contest by opening the scoring after five minutes.
“I think the schedule is very difficult for both of them and (the games) get thick and fast. The quality of the Premier League is very high. It will be a great challenge.”
De Bruyne’s goal was quickly disallowed by Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s second equalizer after Gabriel Jesus restored City’s lead.
City had the best of chances to win the game, with Riyad Mahrez hitting the post and jumping off when well placed late on. Raheem Sterling also had a goal disallowed by VAR for a very tight offside.
They have little time to reflect on what could have been as their demanding schedule continues.
City now travel to Spain for the quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday before meeting Liverpool again at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals next Saturday.
De Bruyne feels the schedule is so intense that it’s hard to look too far ahead.
The Belgian said: “We don’t have time. Although you would like to think about it, Monday is a recovery day and then on Tuesday we go to Madrid. So it’s the same for the cup game.
“It would have been nice to think about the end of the season, but you don’t have time. Maybe that’s a good thing. We play, we play, we play and then we’ll see what happens.”
City travel to Madrid with a 1-0 aggregate lead after overcoming last week’s tight first leg.
It was a game as cautious as it was exciting on Sunday, but De Bruyne thinks that might have to change the second time around.
“I think it will probably be a little tight at first,” he said. “Depending on the score, it has to change if it stays like this, but I don’t expect it to be a match similar to Sunday’s”.
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