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Pep Guardiola philosophical as Premier League title hopes end at St James Park

6 days ago
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When Pep Guardiola spoke before today’s game at St James Park, he said that Manchester City couldn’t afford to lose.

Well they might not have lost this game but they have surely lost the Premier League title.

Man City needed a win and a draw will feel very much like a loss for them.

Liverpool will make it an 11 point lead if beating Brighton and at half-time the scousers are two up.

Referring back to last season’s defeat at St James Park ahead of this match, Pep Guardiola said that Man City ‘forgot to attack’ after going 1-0 up in the first minute in January, eventually losing 2-1.

Well today, it was more a case of forgetting to defend!

Twice the visitors went ahead and  within three and six minutes respectively, Newcastle equalised.

You can’t help but think a bit of complacency was at play both times from Man City.

Rather than anger, Pep Guardiola was philosophical about what he had seen, commenting: ‘We could not score all the chances we had; they scored the two chances they had. Sometimes it happens. We have to accept it, work on strengths and learn from it. In good moments, be calm. In bad moments, live these kind of moments.”

Pep Guardiola on Friday ahead of the Newcastle match:

“Newcastle away is always difficult. It is a tough test.

“We know the situation that we are in, (after Newcastle) we have Burnley away and then the derby against United.

“It (losing in January at St James Park) is forgotten. We played slow, we forgot to attack at 1-0.

“We learned from that, obviously, but we had a bad, bad day. Everybody understood that and we make a step forward.

“We spoke (after losing to Newcastle) about being who we are after the next game.  In that moment I didn’t think we were going to win 14 games in a row and win the Premier League.

“I’m not thinking about winning the Premier League right now. First we have to get past Leicester, then Liverpool.

“I know we can’t (afford to) lose at the moment.”

Pep Guardiola after Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2:

“We played at a good level.

“It was not easy because they defended deep.

“We scored two goals but we also let two in which is disappointing.

“With substitutions sometimes players forget positions.

“We found a way to get through but unfortunately at the end we conceded a goal.

“There are teams that defend deeper like this, it happens all season.

“We do the same work we have done over the last few seasons.

“We tried to score more goals but it did not happen.

“It’s what we’ve lived the last four years.

“We found a way and today, we found it again but unfortunately, at the end, we conceded a goal

“We could not score all the chances we had; they scored the two chances they had.

“Sometimes it happens.

“We have to accept it, work on strengths and learn from it.

“It’s tough but we have just two days to recover.

“In good moments, be calm. In bad moments, live these kind of moments.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2  – Saturday 30 November 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Willems 25. Shelvey 88

Man City:

Sterling 22, De Bruyne 82

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Man City 77% (78%), Newcastle 23% (22%)

Total shots were Man City 24 (9), Newcastle 6 (3)

Shots on target were Man City 9 (4), Newcastle 3 (2)

Corners were Man City 10 (4), Newcastle 1 (1)

Crowd: 49,937 (3,200 Man City)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle team v Man City:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Dummett, Clark, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 80), Almiron, Joelinton (Gayle 69)

Unused Subs

Darlow, Krafth, Matty Longstaff, Schar, Sean Longstaff

(Alan Shearer reacts after Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2 and picks out 3 NUFC players for special applause – Read HERE)

(Watch brilliant Jonjo Shelvey and Kevin De Bruyne goals here from Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2 – Watch HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)

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