Guardiola, who came under criticism for his team selection before and after the game, has defended his decision to leave stars Sergio Aguero and De Bruyne on the bench.
Liverpool enjoyed the early Christmas present of a shock defeat for Manchester City to move four points clear at the top and further raise hopes their near three-decade wait to win the title could come to an end in May.
"When you play a lot of games, everyone has to play".
Both are coming back from injuries but Guardiola says they should be able to win without them along with midfielder Fernandinho, who was missing with a muscle injury and was replaced by defender John Stones.
"Of course Kevin could have started but I chose to play the other ones".
So, England's former captain and record goalscorer clearly doesn't want the red half of Merseyside achieving what would be their first league triumph in over 28 years.
"I admire, I give credit to people who try and adapt to positions they are not used to".
As positive as United fans will be feeling after such an attacking performance, one thing will still be concerning them - Liverpool sitting at the top of the table. "We're not focused on Liverpool or on any team other than ourselves".
Southampton won for the second successive match under new coach Ralph Hasenhuttl when they claimed a 3-1 result at Huddersfield, while Watford ended West Ham's run of four consecutive victories by winning 2-0 at the London Stadium.
But despite incessant pressure, the champions could not find an equaliser to hand Liverpool a huge boost ahead of their trip to City on Jan 3.
City have already lost two Premier League games this season - the same amount as in their entire 2017-18 league campaign.
Manchester had not given Liverpool room to breath until now.
It's games like Sunday - against one of the PL's top-six sides - which have vexed Everton, though, as they've managed just a single point from five games against the big boys this season (a 0-0 draw with Chelsea last month).