Pep keeps his cool de­spite Spurs loss

The Citizen (KZN) - - Internatio­nal -

Pep Guardi­ola re­fused to crit­i­cise his play­ers but said they must do bet­ter next sea­son af­ter Manch­ester City wasted numer­ous chances, missed a penalty and had Olek­sandr Zinchenko sent off in a 2-0 Pre­mier League loss at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur on Sun­day.

The Spa­niard took close to an hour to ap­pear for his post-match news con­fer­ence, prompt­ing talk of a dress­ing down for his play­ers af­ter a sixth league loss of the sea­son which left them 22 points be­hind lead­ers Liver­pool.

But Guardi­ola was giv­ing lit­tle away, be­moan­ing an un­usu­ally bad day at the of­fice for his feared strike force that has helped City rack up more than 100 goals in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son.

“They (Liver­pool) are un­stop­pable with a lot of is the tar­get for the (other) com­pe­ti­tions and qual­ity for the Cham­pi­ons League next sea­son,” Guardi­ola said.

“The dis­tance is so big and next sea­son we have to do bet­ter.”

City had 18 goal at­tempts com­pared to Tot­ten­ham’s three, the hosts tak­ing the lead in the 63rd minute when debu­tant Steven Berg­wijn volleyed home with Jose Mour­inho’s side’s first at­tempt on tar­get.

De­spite play­ing the last 30 min­utes with 10 men af­ter Zinchenko’s red card, City en­joyed nearly 70 per­cent pos­ses­sion over­all but Ser­gio Aguero wasted sev­eral good chances and Ilkay Gun­do­gan had a penalty saved by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris be­fore miss­ing a sit­ter.

“We are there in the six-yard box and we are not able to score,” Guardi­ola, whose side have failed to score in con­sec­u­tive matches for the first time in his reign. “One day it will click.” With their hopes of a third suc­ces­sive Pre­mier League ti­tle all over bar the shout­ing, Guardi­ola said mo­ti­va­tion was not a prob­lem for his side. The Cham­pi­ons League, how­ever, is not their pri­or­ity.

“We played well, but we lost the game. (Spurs) ar­rived in (the box) twice and scored two goals.

“I don’t have too many things to say about our per­for­mance,” he said.

“We have to ac­cept it and work on that. We need to an­a­lyse that. Foot­ball is to cre­ate chances and con­cede few.

“We played to win the game. I didn’t see a lack of de­sire to win or that we’re far away.” –

Pic­ture: AFP


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