SOUTHAMPTON (Reuters) - Pep Guardiola watched his Manchester City side's long winning run halted by Southampton in a 1-1 draw on Saturday but described his side's performance as one of the best of the season.
Aymeric Laporte's 65th-minute header salvaged a point for City at St Mary's after Kyle Walker-Peters had given Southampton an early lead at St Mary's.
City dominated but, for only the fifth time this season they were denied victory, and for second time against Southampton.
"We played better than in the Arsenal game, when we won, and today we drew. Sometimes you deserve it and you don't win, but the way we played here was excellent," Guardiola said.
"Southampton are a really good team. They are organised, they play 4-4-2, long balls, good pace in counter-attack, good build up... but we were brilliant today."
The draw extends City's lead over Liverpool to 12 points although Liverpool have two games in hand, including Sunday's clash against Crystal Palace.
"Why should we lose belief in what we have done? It was a good performance. We are going to drop points, but the way we behave is very good," Guardiola said.
"People will say the Premier League race is not over and that is good for this side. We have many tough games ahead of us, but we will try to behave until the end.
"I would like to have a 40-point lead ahead of Liverpool, but that is not possible in January. I didn't expect to have this lead, now we will rest and come back as best as possible."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)