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Speaking to our partners Sky Sports, Guardiola praised the performance of his team despite their defeat which now leaves Liverpool just six points away from winning their first league title in 30 years.
“We played good. We conceded a goal and should have avoided it, but in the second half we played good as well. So congratulations to Manchester United. The quality of the opponent always count. We played good. Yes, we could have played better if we win 5-0,” Pep Guardiola said.
Man City weren’t awful but they weren’t great so maybe ‘good’ is a good assessment of their display. Pep doesn’t usually criticize his team after a defeat and usually praises them, so this is pretty standard from him. That said, it now feels less reassuring given how they keep losing games in a similar way.
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Defensively they made some big mistakes and their entire starting back four would probably have been second-choice at the start of the season. Injuries and poor form have hit City hard at the back all season.
Ederson‘s uncharacteristic errors led to both Man United goals and why was Sergio Aguero marking Anthony Martial from a set piece on the first goal? Those kind of silly decisions are the reason why Man City are 25 points behind Liverpool, not to mention Otameni, Zinchenko and Fernandinho all looking well off the pace.
Guardiola didn’t want to hammer his players for their poor displays but it was clear Man City were second best throughout, even though they had plenty of the ball, as always.
1️⃣ "He is an exceptional goalkeeper, I'm not here to judge my players."
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 8, 2020
City missed key playmaker Kevin De Bruyne who was out injured as they lost for a seventh time this season and if they lose at home against Arsenal on Wednesday then Liverpool can win the title if they win at Everton a week on Monday.
It appears that after winning the League Cup, reaching the FA Cup quarterfinals and beating Real Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash that Guardiola is going all in on the cup competitions this season.
Given their two-season European ban from UEFA, which they are appealing, this is the first time it has looked like City were not focused and didn’t bring their A game.