Man City boss Pep Guardiola gives five reasons his team could not match Liverpool FC
Pep Guardiola came up with five reasons why Manchester City failed to hold on to the Premier League title.
The Blues manager said he knew the chase was over months ago, so he has had plenty of time to consider the factors which led to his team falling off the blistering pace set by champions Liverpool.
The Merseysiders clinched the title without playing last night, as City lost 2-1 at Chelsea.
And he laid out half-a-dozen points which fed into his team’s inability – after two incredible, record-breaking seasons – to go again.
“We knew it for a long time,” he said. “In general we did good things but unfortunately lost the game for some details. We have to learn, we have to be consistent like we were in the previous seasons. This season we could not maintain the same level.
“What we have done in the last two or three seasons is incredible.”
He then went on to outline the reasons City had not managed three in a row.
Football is football
“I never thought always we could win,” he said. “The last ten competitions we’ve played as a club, we’ve won eight titles. Never has that happened before in this country. Never. So you can’t win all the time.”
“We missed one important central defender last season with Vincent (Kompany) and Aymeric was injured all this season.
“That was a little bit of a problem for us and we didn’t show this consistency to play better. I never thought in my life you can always win.
Liverpool wanted it more
“Liverpool is their first domestic title in the last seven, eight, ten years so it’s so difficult to maintain this,” he said.
“Maybe after winning titles we didn’t get or arrive with the same passion and I had the feeling after Liverpool won the Champions League they were incredibly focused, after 30 years not winning the league, to win every single game, like it was the last chance they had.
Time ran out
Having set a remarkable pace in the previous two seasons, Guardiola’s team was still not prepared for the incredible sprint start which Liverpool made – and thought they could haul them back in, as they did last season.
“We thought ‘We have time, we have time,’” he said.
Guardiola has thought City didn’t get any breaks at times in the early part of the season – especially the disallowed Gabriel Jesus “winner” against Spurs, and possibly the failure to spot Trent Alexander-Arnold’s handball in the defeat at Liverpool.
“In the key moments in the first part of the season, when different circumstances didn’t help us, it became more difficult,” he said. “But we’ve won two titles and have the chance to win two more and qualify for the Champions League.
“So you have to be humble and accept you can’t win all the time and learn about what you have to do to avoid this situation again.”