Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted after the club’s 4-0 loss to Everton that they were essentially out of the Premier League title race.
It was the 4th loss for the Citizens in 8 games, and the biggest league loss of the Spanish boss’ career.
“In the first half we were better. We were exceptional, we created enough chances to score a goal,” said Guardiola.
“We lose in other circumstances that I cannot control. The opponent arrives the first time and scores after we miss a lot of chances.
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“The second half we start and the second time they arrive and they score. Mentally for the players it is tough.
“At 2-0 you are playing more with the heart than the head and sometimes the counter attack can happen.”
With 10 points now separating Chelsea from City, Guardiola said after the game that the first position was out of his team’s reach.
“The first one, yeah,” Guardiola said. “The first one is a 10-point gap and that is a lot of course.
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“The second one is three points, so we have to see. I spoke with the players for the last three weeks to forget about the table. Focus on the next game and do our best.
“After that, at the end of the season, we’ll analyse how our level was, our performance, the coach, the players. After we are going to decide.”
He added that he was going to tell his players to not focus on their league position, and play their best football.
“We have to see. I spoke to my players over the last three weeks or month: do not look the league table, focus on the next game and try to do our best. Then at the end of the season we will evaluate our levels and performances: how was the coaching, how the players were.”
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City have had problems scoring over the past few weeks, and the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach admitted that it needed a solution.
Believe me, I would like to know why,” said Guardiola. “I will be concerned and worried when they arrive six or seven times and create a lot of chances.
“That’s then our problem to control the game. I know in many cases the people don’t agree with me but to control the game means you have the possession to create enough chances and concede as few as possible.
“That has happened. But what happens when they arrive for the first time – it’s a goal!
“It is tough for the players. I was a player and understand how tough it is for them right now.
“We are trying to do absolutely everything. But it’s not the first time it’s happened this season.
“I had eight years as a coach and won seven titles. That is an exceptional situation. That is not a good argument for our people and I have to look forward for the best solution for our players to win again.”
Guardiola however revealed he had no plans to jump ship, and still desired to be a Premier League winner.
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“I’m so happy in Manchester,” he said. “Of course I prefer to win than lose but I’m so happy with the way I’m trying to do the best as possible to achieve what I think is the best way to play.
“When we beat Crystal Palace and Burnley I was so happy but that was not the way I wanted to play. We couldn’t make three or four passes. We were so lucky.”