Guardiola says City ‘not in the position to think about being champions’ after Spurs loss

Guardiola says City ‘not in the position to think about being champions’ after Spurs loss

Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City “are not in the position to think about being champions” after seeing their Premier League title challenge suffer a huge blow against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Harry Kane’s strike on 15 minute – his record-setting 267th for Spurs – secured all three points as City extended their run of matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium without a goal to five games.

Guardiola’s side would have moved within two points of leaders Arsenal – who suffered only their second league defeat of the season on Saturday away to Everton – with a victory in North London but their own 1-0 setback leaves the Gunners firmly in control of the title race.

Second-placed City are five points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand and host Guardiola’s men on February 15.

Asked how frustrating it was to miss the chance to close the gap on Arsenal, Guardiola said: “Yes, of course, Arsenal have dropped few, few points so far and of course there was an opportunity.

“It was important to be close to Arsenal and leave the fifth place in the table, that Tottenham is right now, far away.

“We are not in the position to think about being champions.”

Tottenham’s plush new stadium has been a house of horrors for City since it opened in 2019.

They have lost on all five of their visits and are yet to score a single goal there.

After dominating possession in the early stages, City faded badly after Kane’s history-making goal.

With Kevin de Bruyne left on the bench for the first hour and Phil Foden absent from the squad due to illness, City lacked the creative quality to supply Erling Haaland with the kind of chance that Kane buried.

Haaland, well marshalled by Cristian Romero before the Tottenham defender’s late red card, failed to have a single attempt on goal for the first time since his move from Borussia Dortmund last season.

It was a worrying sight for Guardiola, who faced criticism for leaving out Belgium playmaker De Bruyne for what he called “tactical” reasons.

Spurs v Man City ratings

After winning four titles in the last five seasons, City look more vulnerable than at any time in Guardiola’s reign.

He conceded his team’s latest inconsistent display was part of a worrying pattern City have been unable to stem throughout a campaign that threatens to fizzle out.

“Of course I have a lot of gratitude for these players. Always I try to do my best, I don’t want to drop much but I knew it,” he said.

“I said many times I knew we are not the same after winning a lot. Me included, I am the first to talk about that.

“It doesn’t matter what happened in the past or the success we had. No, we have to try to do it again. Now we are sad, tomorrow we will reflect.”

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