Pep Guardiola's comments should make Tottenham fans feel very proud

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola addressed the media today, ahead of his side's clash with Tottenham at Wembley tomorrow night, and offered high words of praise for Mauricio Pochettino's men, labelling them as a "fantastic team", as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. "But sometimes the referee sees body language that's not correct".

Guardiola is concerned about the psychological effect that three defeats in a week might have on his players as they look to secure the trophy.

"What I say to the players is, and they show you every day, in every game that it's not done because if it was done they wouldn't play the way they play".

"Of course it can happen, I assure you", said Guardiola.

Were City to win one, draw two and lose three, United could still theoretically win the Premier League with a flawless run-in and enough firepower to overturn a 28-goal deficit. They won three games in a row, so in sports it can always happen.

City missed the chance to claim the title last Saturday when they were surprisingly beaten at home by second-placed Manchester United.

To make matters worse, Sergio Aguero may struggle to play again this season after aggravating a knee injury when he was flattened by Ashley Young in the derby and again when he made a 24-minute appearance off the bench in the second leg against Liverpool. "We can not forget he was injured for one month", Guardiola said. He played the last 15 or 20 minutes and, after the game, he said "I could not run, I cannot play". "We have problems - John Stones is not ready [thigh], Fernandinho is suspended, Benjamin Mendy is out [knee]". So if we lose, we're going to do it in a similar way to the way we played against United and Liverpool. It's not unusual for a team to win a lot of a games and when they lose people ask "what happened?"

Meanwhile, Liverpool and Tottenham in third and fourth both lag 17 points behind with a far inferior goal difference to City. Real Madrid, years ago, lost [five] games in a row and didn't win the league. "Hopefully (he will be back) for the last games, if we need him, and especially for the World Cup". A team that included players such as Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, David Beckham, Iker Casillas and Raul lost six of their last seven games to finish seven points behind Valencia having led by 11 points at one stage. But it doesn't depend on the United result, it's in our hands, it's up to us to win our games, and we are able to win [the] two games [needed].

Mainly, then, we have learned that next season we really, really need a title race.

  • Steve Townsend