Pep Guardiola insisted that he will never compromise Manchester City's attacking game, after his open formation was questioned following his side's 1-1 home draw with Liverpool, while also admitting he admires the "balls" of John Stones and the rest of his centre-halves because he knows how hard his system is to play in.
James Milner converted a penalty to open the scoring for Liverpool six minutes into the second half on Sunday evening, reports Efe news agency.
Sergio Aguero's 69th-minute equaliser meant City emerged with a point from Sunday's ding-dong battle with Liverpool, but Guardiola said his forwards' lack of ruthlessness was holding the team back. In Monaco we didn't create in the first half. I am so proud of my players.
The Etihad Stadium club has now been given a deadline of March 31 to respond to a charge of improper conduct. It is one of the happiest days of my career as a manager. If he can't (explain the miss) - I thought it was because he worked so hard before. It is one of the days I am proud the most.
"He helped us a lot this game, he played a good game, intercepted a lot of balls, so there is no point in blaming him".
Aguero equalised on 69 minutes when he turned home Kevin de Bruyne's low right-wing cross from six yards.
The 46-year-old refused to say whether that meant he would be prepared to extend his contract, which still has over two years to run.
He said: "After the game Adam immediately said to me sorry, and I thought 'why?'"
City are 12 points behind leaders Chelsea and two behind second-placed Tottenham Hotspur while Liverpool are a further point back. Our problem is we don't score goals, easy goals, but at least we showed the spirit we didn't show at Monaco, which is why we went out.
It was one of number of strong penalty appeals by both sides, City claimed one next as Milner appeared to catch Raheem Sterling.
Both teams had chances to win in the later stages.
De Bruyne struck a post before an enterprising Liverpool move ended with Lallana inexplicably making a hash of a glorious chance with only Caballero to beat, while Aguero blazed over in stoppage time as City pressed for a victor. The Champions League defeat was so tough for us and we recovered today with our mentality and attack, but we could not attack more because Liverpool are a top team.
"There is one outstanding side this year and they will be champions probably, that's then well deserved, and all the rest fights with all they have for the Champions League", said Klopp.