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Pep Guardiola admits losing to “better team” after Spurs snap City’s six-match winning streak

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Pep Guardiola admits losing to “better team” after Spurs snap City’s six-match winning streak

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SportsCafe Desk

10/03/2016

Manchester City’s 6-game winning streak was snapped by Tottenham Hotspur, with Pep Guardiola saying that the North London club deserved all 3 points. An own goal by Aleksandar Kolarov and a well-taken chance by Dele Alli carried Spurs to within one point of leaders City.

“They were better, the better team,” Guardiola told a media conference after the match. “We played against a team who had the same trainer (manager) for the last two or three years and last season was fighting for Premier League.

“They have players with talent, we knew how aggressive they are, home and away and especially home. Of course it was difficult, we had problems finding the guys and controlling our game.”

The master tactician agreed that his team was struggling to adapt to the requirements of the game early on, as Spurs had the answers to everything City came up with offensively. Guardiola also admitted that his team's inability to win second balls allowed Spurs to dominate the game.

“From the beginning I didn't feel we could adapt, we couldn't make the buildup play the way we wanted. Every time we attacked behind... we caused problems, situations,” said the 52-year-old.

“They always won the second ball, and the first reaction is to say we didn't run. It's not that. It's not about not trying. When you are not in the right position when you attack or when you defend, this kind of thing can happen.”

When asked if the absence of star play-makerKevin De Bruyne, who had already created 20 chances in just six games, was an important factor in the result of the match, Guardiola said that it was a team effort rather than any individual that let them down against Spurs.

“Of course Kevin is a fantastic player. Today, the way the play was, he wouldn't have changed too much. Kevin doesn't win alone. We need to win all together,” he said.

“Tottenham didn't win because of one player, they played better. In some aspects we weren't in control. That's all. It wasn't one aspect.”

Always graceful, Guardiola praised Spurs but he did add that his team would learn from the loss and would come back stronger.

“We can just say congratulations to Tottenham. When (the) opponent is better, you accept it and learn from that. Football is a process, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When you lose, you learn what you haven't done properly. We have to keep going,” concluded the former Barcelona boss.

Guardiola’s opposite number, Mauricio Pochettino, hailed his side’s “nearly perfect” performance against the Premier League leaders. The “nearly perfect” part was in reference to Eric Lamela’s penalty miss following Cluadio Bravo’s goal line antics.

Speaking after the game, the former Southampton boss, said, “The performance was nearly perfect. To play a great team like Manchester City, you need to do a fantastic job. For that, I'm very proud of our players.”

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