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Riyad Mahrez says title race pressure makes him perform better

The winger is enjoying a superb season having scored 21 times in all competitions.

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Riyad Mahrez is thriving under the pressure of Liverpool’s challenge (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Riyad Mahrez is thriving under the pressure of Liverpool’s challenge (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Riyad Mahrez is thriving under the pressure of Liverpool’s challenge (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Riyad Mahrez believes the pressure of Manchester City’s close title race with Liverpool is bringing out the best of him.

The winger is enjoying a superb season having scored 21 times in all competitions to keep City firmly in contention for three trophies.

Yet Liverpool are also fighting on the same three fronts and their Premier League form in particular means City have little room for error.

The Reds cut the champions’ lead at the top of the table to three points with their victory over Brighton on Saturday, putting the onus back on City ahead of Monday’s trip to Crystal Palace.

Mahrez told the club’s website: “If there is no Liverpool, Chelsea or United, Tottenham, Arsenal – if no-one is with us – we are going to win the league all the time.

“When there are other teams behind us or in front of us, winning games like we do, it makes us more hungry to try to win more games and that is good really. That is what we want.

“(It is) part of football. We are living with pressure I have to have pressure. I wouldn’t be good if I didn’t have pressure. It makes you better, it makes you hungrier. It is good.”

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City were undone by Palace when they met in October (Martin Rickett/PA)

City were undone by Palace when they met in October (Martin Rickett/PA)

City were undone by Palace when they met in October (Martin Rickett/PA)

The game at Selhurst Park gives City a chance to keep Liverpool at arm’s length for a little longer but Mahrez is taking nothing for granted against Palace.

The Eagles won at the Etihad Stadium in October and have frustrated City on other occasions in recent years, such as when they held them to a damaging 2-2 draw in 2020.

“It is not easy to play there – all the time,” said Mahrez. “I’m not going to say we’ve struggled but it is difficult.

“But we are ready. We will go there to make a good game and try to win.”

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