Friday 20 September 2019

Pep Guardiola plays down chances of Manchester City going unbeaten all season

Pep Guardiola watched Manchester City extend their winning run
Pep Guardiola watched Manchester City extend their winning run

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hailed his side's fighting spirit after they fought back from behind to win 2-1 at Huddersfield.

Raheem Sterling's fortunate late winner gave City the three points after they recovered from the shock of falling behind to a Nicolas Otamendi own goal on the stroke of half-time.

Sterling was himself fouled to give Sergio Aguero the chance to equalise from the penalty spot in the opening minute of the second half, while a once-promising day for Huddersfield ended badly when Rajiv van la Parra was sent off after the final whistle.

Guardiola, whose side have dropped points in just one of their 13 Premier League games this season, said: "We said that we needed this situation to happen - you have to live it, to be in trouble.

"I was not talking about winning, losing or drawing the game, I'm talking about not giving up, being positive all the time, being focused on what we have to do.

"We are not going to finish (the season) unbeaten, it is impossible. Because there are games every three days and you have to play a lot of games like this.

"But to fight to avoid that, mentally, and in the way we want to play, is fantastic. We deserved to win because we created more chances and we dominated."

Guardiola praised Sterling's match-wining influence - and said the former Liverpool forward can still make a lot of improvements.

Guardiola added: "He is still young and he can still improve. He is winning games and now he is a winning player.

"It is not just about scoring goals, he is now strong and keeping the ball. I am impressed but he is still 22 years old, he can do a lot of things to improve and if he wants to learn we will be there to help him."

Huddersfield boss David Wagner felt his side, who beat Manchester United last month, had given another good account of themselves.

Wagner said: "Am I disappointed because of the result? Yes, but happy because of the defensive performance, the attitude, the desire, the patience, the emotion the players have shown.

"At the end I think it makes sense, totally, to take the positives out of this game. For sure, this was how we defended against the best offensive team in the Premier League. At the end we were a little unlucky for the second goal."

Wagner did not comment on the Van la Parra incident.

"I haven't seen the video footage, so I cannot say something about the red card," he said.

PA Media

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