Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to have faith in an improbable turnaround despite Liverpool romping to a 3-0 Champions League quarter-final win in Wednesday's first leg.
The game and, arguably, the tie, was settled inside 31 minutes at a raucous Anfield as goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane humbled the runaway Premier League leaders.
City were beaten 4-3 on Merseyside in January but Guardiola feels their exploits elsewhere – a 5-0 win at home to Liverpool last September, for example – should give them a reason not to give up the ghost.
"In this room I think there is nobody except the guy talking to you who believes we can go through. There are 90 minutes more, we are going to try," he told a news conference, before grouping City in with the other seemingly doomed teams in the draw.
"I believe a lot in my team. They show me many good things in the season. The result is so tough, you cannot deny it.
"Today you are talking about Real Madrid going through, Barcelona going through, Bayern Munich going through and Liverpool going through.
"But we have 90 minutes all of us - Sevilla, Juventus, Roma and us. We are going to try. It is so complicated because we are going to play a top, top team. We have the permission to believe it."
FT | 3-0 Down but not out. April 4, 2018
Echoing a theme from the January loss – the only reverse in England's top flight this term for City, who can seal the Premier League title with victory against Manchester United on Saturday – Guardiola lamented his team losing control for a 10 to 15-minute spell, albeit much earlier in the game on this occasion.
"Our first minutes… it is always important to see how the team is. Did we arrive here a little bit scared? We arrived with a huge personality," he said.
"The problem is they arrived two times, the first one offside, to score two. Here at Anfield, it is always complicated."
Guardiola added: "When you play badly and the opponent is much better than you and it is 2-0 you have to accept it.
"But I do not have that feeling. Maybe tomorrow when I review the game I will say it was a disaster, but I do not have that feeling."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.