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CITY FALL TO WOLVES DEFEAT

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola admitted his Manchester City players were “nervous” as they were beaten by Wolves at the Etihad Stadium thanks to two goals from a former Barcelona player, Adama Traoré.

Adama Traoré

The 23-year-old Traoré – who began his career under Guardiola at the Camp Nou – scored two in the last 10 minutes for a result that leaves the champions eight points behind Liverpool, having lost twice in their opening eight matches. That represents their worst start to a season since 2013-14 under Manuel Pellegrini, although the current manager said it is best not to look at the table due to the chasm.

“It was a bad day, sometimes it happens,” Guardiola said. “We started quite well and after we conceded two situations in our buildup where it’s impossible to defend, we got a little bit nervous. We controlled them better in the second half but at the end with us attacking and people up front, we lost balls in positions [where] it is so difficult and they were clinical. Before that we hit the post but the way we played was not good. It was not a good day.”

 

 

Pressed as to why City were nervous, Guardiola added: “It sometimes happens. We spoke about this: ‘Come on guys, a lot of games [still] to play, we did it [last season] and we’re going to do it again.’ We lost to a good team that were really well-organised, good physicality, strong in the air and so fast on the counterattack. We knew it.”

He added of the gap to Liverpool: “It is a lot of points. They didn’t drop points [due to] many circumstances. I had a feeling we were not quite bad. Today was the day we create less than the other matches, even in the [3-2] loss at Norwich we create a lot.

“We face many teams defending with deep systems and more or less we found a way to do it but today we had a problem. It is better not to think that one team is eight points ahead.”

Guardiola remains trustful of his players. “I know these guys. Still they are incredibly involved [committed] and can do it. What happened, happened. Most of the teams who won [the Premier League] in the past, the year after, don’t win [unlike City last season]. Today was the day … not our level. The previous games were good. But the distance is big. I know that. Liverpool is not dropping points. But we are in October, still a lot of games and competition.

Nuno Santo

Nuno Espírito Santo, the Wolves manager, said: “I am very proud, it was a very good performance.”

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