CITY FALL TO WOLVES DEFEAT
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.
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 Espírito Santo, the Wolves manager, said: “I am very proud, it was a very good performance.”