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    16 December 2023

    Pep Guardiola: Manchester City’s draw not down to bad luck, says coach

    Manchester City’s Struggles Continue: Guardiola Blames Lack of Luck

    In a startling turn of events, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola revealed that his side cannot attribute their recent failures to mere misfortune. After dropping yet more points from a winning position in their latest Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace, the defending champions find themselves three points behind league leaders Liverpool.

    The match saw Manchester City take a comfortable 2-0 lead with just fifteen minutes remaining on the clock. However, Jean-Philippe Mateta’s breakaway goal and Michael Olise’s last-minute penalty allowed Crystal Palace to complete an unlikely comeback and secure a draw.

    This marks the fourth time in their last six Premier League matches where Manchester City have been held after leading late into the game, leaving them frustrated and trailing behind Liverpool with limited chances for redemption.

    Guardiola dismissed any claims that his team had eased off during the match, asserting that they continued to push for more goals even after going 2-0 up early in the second half. Despite having 19 shots compared to Palace’s mere five attempts on target, it was clear that luck wasn’t favoring Manchester City on this occasion.

    The Spanish manager stated firmly, “It’s not bad luck; it’s deserved. We gave away two points but if you give away a penalty like we did today, then you deserve it.”

    Analyzing their performance, Guardiola highlighted the recurring issue of Manchester City’s inability to close out games. He emphasized that in previous matches against Tottenham and Liverpool, his team had displayed excellent play but ultimately failed to secure victories.

    Guardiola continued, “Playing that way, we didn’t concede absolutely anything until their goal. So, the team was really good, but at the end when you give them a penalty it is like the penalty we conceded against Chelsea – we didn’t deserve to win.”

    The frustration extends beyond this single match as Manchester City’s total of 34 points from their first 17 games is their lowest under Guardiola’s management since he took charge in 2016. This also marks the first time they have found themselves outside of the top three at this stage with him at the helm.

    Despite this setback, Manchester City will now turn their attention towards participating in next week’s Fifa Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia. However, they face potential further decline as Liverpool could extend their lead by winning their upcoming fixtures.

    “It would be better to go on a six or seven-hour flight with a result,” Guardiola expressed. “We have just three days to recover and then just three days for a potential final but it is what it is.”

    As they prepare for new challenges ahead and seek redemption amidst adversity, only time will tell if Manchester City can regain their form and overcome these recent setbacks.

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