Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola blasted his team after their careless defending and a needless late-game penalty cost them a much-needed victory in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday, saying they deserved the result.
“It’s not bad luck, it’s deserved,” an angry Guardiola told reporters after the game. “We give away two points. When you give away this penalty, you deserve it. You see the chances we created and conceded, it’s quite similar to all this season – but we are not able to close the games. That is the feeling.”
City have looked uncharacteristically vulnerable after a run of six games with only one win.
Jack Grealish and Rico Lewis scored in the first half at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but Jean-Philippe Mateta pulled one back for Palace and then Michael Olise converted a penalty in the 95th minute after Phil Foden fouled Mateta in the box.
The draw left the treble winners fourth in the crowded title fight on 34 points, but City have played one more game than the three teams above them: Liverpool, who are top on 37 points, Arsenal and Aston Villa, who all play on Sunday.
“At the end, be patient and don’t concede transitions and don’t concede,” Guardiola said of the disappointing result.
“But of course in the first action (Palace) run and score a goal and in the last minute we give them (a penalty). In the 18-yard box you have to be careful and we weren’t. We don’t deserve to win.”
City have dropped nine points this season by conceding goals after the 80th minute.
Adding to the team’s misery is the absence of league-leading scorer Erling Haaland, who has been sidelined for two consecutive Premier League games with a stress reaction in his foot, which could develop into a more serious stress fracture. – Reuters