‘We lack guts’: Pep Guardiola gives brutal assessment of Manchester City’s title chances

Pep Guardiola gesticulates from the touchline during City’s win over Spurs

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Pep Guardiola gave a damning assessment of Manchester City’s title hopes despite their sensational comeback victory over Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium, accusing his players of lacking “guts”.

City were 2-0 behind at half-time but scored two quickfire goals early in the second half to transform the game, before Riyad Mahrez added two more to round off a 4-2 victory.

The win brought City back to be only five points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, but Guardiola was far from impressed with his side, and warned they will fall further behind unless their attitude changes.

“We are far away from the team that we were,” the City manager told Sky Sports. “Not in terms of play but in terms of competitiveness, what we have to do in many many things, we are far away.

“We play because ‘our manager told me I have to do this, I have to do this’ but there is nothing from the stomach, from the guts. We were lucky, because if we don’t change, sooner or later we’re going to drop more points.”


Some City fans booed the team at half-time when two goals behind after a lacklustre first period.

Guardiola added: “They booed because we were losing but not because we played badly. Maybe it’s the same as our team, maybe we are comfortable after four Premier Leagues in five years. How do I get the fire back? It’s my duty, my job. I want my fans back. I don’t recognise my team. I’m not going to tell you what I said [at half-time].”

By contrast, losing manager Antonio Conte was relatively satisfied with his team’s display.

“If I compare the games to last season (and) I think about the performance, I’m more happy today,” Conte said. “In the game last season Manchester City dominated the game. Today we played a good game with personality.

“At the same time I’m disappointed. It’s the first time one of my teams has conceded four goals in one half. We have to try to improve and work with these players. We need time to try to create something important with this team.”

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