Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have learned “to never give up” after returning to the top of the table for the first time since 16 December with a win at Everton.
A week ago City were five points adrift of Liverpool but took full advantage after Jurgen Klopp’s side could only manage back-to-back draws, moving ahead of the Reds on goal difference albeit having played one game more.
“A few days ago we could have been seven points behind. Now we are top of the league. That is the best advice, the lesson is never give up,” said Guardiola.
“That is a lesson for all athletes. Try to win the games, because life can change immediately.”
Defender Aymeric Laporte met David Silva’s free-kick to head home his fourth goal of the season, putting City in front just before half-time.
Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling both spurned decent opportunities to extend City’s lead after the break before Gabriel Jesus sealed victory in stoppage time.
It was far from a vintage display by City, who instead had to show their battling qualities to secure the points and regain the initiative in the title race.
Attention will now switch back to Liverpool, who can return to the summit with victory against Bournemouth on Saturday, 24 hours before City host Chelsea at Etihad Stadium.
Everton stay ninth after suffering a fourth defeat in five Premier League games at Goodison Park, though they should take some encouragement from a resilient display that was a notable improvement on their performances in recent weeks.