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Liverpool's Dejan Lovren says team will 'always come back' after bad results

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Sane restores Man City's lead with inch-perfect strike (1:27)

English Premier League: Leroy Sane (72') Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool (1:27)

MANCHESTER, England -- Dejan Lovren insists Liverpool have the mental strength to recover from their first Premier League defeat of the season and stave off the threat of Manchester City in the title race.

Liverpool's flawless start to the league campaign came to an end on Thursday when they were beaten 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium to see their lead at the top of the table cut to four points.

Lovren, however, feels Liverpool have proved on plenty occasions in the past that they have the ability to recover from punishing blows.

"This is Liverpool, we will always come back when it's tough," the centre-half told reporters. "And you know it is tough after the last whistle, but it is over, finished, we can't change it, so we will accept that, congratulate Manchester City. But the season is quite long and I believe in this team.

"The message [in the dressing room afterwards] was to stay calm. There are many games in front of us, and we knew it was a big season and we are still first.

"We need to stay calm, keep our focus game by game and do not look back. When we win or we lose, we will not look back."

Lovren's defensive partner, Virgil van Dijk, made a point to remind supporters of Liverpool's current standing in the league after 21 matches played.

"You can't look at this situation in a negative way," Van Dijk said. "We are still top of the league with a four-point lead. It is still looking fine for us. Our next game in the Premier League is Brighton and we are already looking forward to that. There is the FA Cup in between, of course.

"The only thing we can do now is bounce back. We will. We can go on another unbeaten run, but we take it game by game. We know it is going to be tough.

"We have a great mentality. We have shown that all season. We just have to keep on doing what we have been doing. There is no reason to change anything or panic."

Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson took solace in Liverpool's performance at the home of the reigning champions.

"There is no need to get carried away," he said. "All season we have taken it game by game and we will do that again.

"It is normal to be disappointed by a defeat. Now it is about reaction and I am sure the lads will react in the right way. Why would you lose confidence after a game like tonight? It could have been different.

"The Premier League is a tough league, the games keep coming. We need to be ready and we will be. In terms of the result we are disappointed. We were beaten by a very good City team, but there were still moments in the game where we could have scored one or two more. We just have to accept the defeat."

Liverpool are next in action on Monday night at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup before returning to Premier League action on Jan. 12 when they travel to Brighton and Hove Albion.