Brendan Rodgers pleased with his players

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted that his side proved that they deserved a place among the top four clubs in England despite the 2-1 defeat in the Boxing Day fixture at Manchester City.

City were forced to come from behind to preserve their perfect unbeaten home record on Thursday and also had cause to be thankful for a controversial disallowed Liverpool goal in the first half - a decision which left Rodgers perturbed and vexed towards the officials.

The Reds heaped the pressure on their opponents towards the latter end of the match but that wasn't enough to get the visitors a goal. Rodgers claims he was very pleased with his side's display and insisted that they are still on track in the title race.

"I was very proud of the players, I thought they were absolutely outstanding," he told the club's website.

"They really took the game to a team that is a top, top side full of top European players.

"I think people will go away and look at us as a team that's hopefully going to be up there challenging," he added.

"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.

"I think performances like tonight... 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."

Liverpool, who find themselves in 4th place following the loss to City, will face third placed Chelsea in London on Sunday, knowing that a win could potentially put them top of the league depending on the outcome of other results.

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