Pep Guardiola insisted he was proud of his Manchester City side following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with newly promoted Leeds United — managed by Guardiola’s personal hero, Marcelo Bielsa — while also admitting his team is “far away from the top” and their best to start the 2020-21 Premier League season.
Through three games, Man City have just one win and trail defending Premier League champions Liverpool by five points.
It’s a worry for Guardiola, no doubt about it, but he found plenty of positives in the disappointing result and was anything but shy about heaping praise upon Bielsa and his well-drilled Leeds side — quotes from the BBC:
“Of course we are far away from the top of the league, we need to start to win games. It’s a marathon, and with Champions League games, all the teams have this situation.”
“It was an entertaining game for everyone. I’m incredibly proud of these players who enjoy football and come to this country and play many years at a high level. This is their first pre-season together, we couldn’t do it more because the opponent was so good like all Marcelo Bielsa sides.
“It was emotional from the touchline the way we played. The last 10-15 minutes, I’m so delighted by the performance they had.
“Society gives credit for the winners. It’s like perfume — when you win, you smell so good. When you don’t, you smell so bad.
“The approach was incredible and it’s nice to face a team like Leeds because they want to win, like they did with Liverpool. It’s incredible entertaining football and it’s interesting for the fans.”
Up next for City is a visit from Arsenal next Sunday, a tricky challenge from which they must take three points and begin their rapid ascent up the PL table.