City went into half-time 2-0 down after late goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal sucker-punched the home side. Referee Simon Hooper&aposs whistle was met with a smattering of boos around an otherwise docile Etihad, much to the confusion of Guardiola.
City returned from the break and a half-time grilling to turn the tide swiftly and efficiently, goals from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland pulling them level before a Riyad Mahrez brace completed the comeback to a much more jubilant Etihad crowd.
After the final whistle, Guardiola went on a scathing attack aimed at everyone from his own players to the fans, and below is every word.
Pep, what did you say at HT, because whatever you did it worked?
PG: Do you believe that?
Its a question.
PG: You have to prepare better.
PG: We cannot deny how happy we are but we are far away from the team that we were, not in terms of play, we played good in the second half, but there were many things, the competitiveness in terms of what do we have to do that we are far away, far away. Rico Lewis concedes four fouls and of course its not a yellow card because its Rico Lewis, and we dont react. We concede the first goal and after the second goal its ridiculous. We play short and we play because our manager told us how to play like this and have to do this, but there is nothing from the stomach and the guts. We were lucky but without change sooner or later again we are going to drop points.
So what are the things that are missing, guts, for one, youre talking about there?
PG: Passion, desire, to win from minute one. Its the same for our spectators, our fans. They are so silent for 45 minutes.
And then they booed at HT some of them?
PG: We played good. We might have been losing but we werent playing bad, we were playing very good. We had more chances, expected goals from Tottenham was 0.89, so we were better. They booed because we were losing, but maybe its the same for our team. Maybe we were so comfortable winning four Premier Leagues in five years and thats why we you know, and after we score a goal they react, but that is not the point.
So do you think for players and spectators, four titles in five years is a lot of success, maybe a little bit of fire has gone out of everything?
PG: Definitely. Otherwise we dont concede the goals that we concede in every single game. We need them. We need them. Yes when we score a goal congratulations but we were lucky, next time we will not be lucky.
So how do you get back that fire, those guts that youre talking about?
PG: It is my duty, it is my job. I want my fans back. I want my fans back in here. Not my away fans – my away fans is the best. But my fans in here, we want support for every corner, their reaction and support, because we play, we cannot expect [to win] because Tottenham is one of the greatest opposition in how good they defend, how they are organised, how they make a build-up, how they link with Harry Kane, Kulusevski and Son, they make incredible switch of plays, the threat they have in every single moment is incredible. I could not expect to concede like we did in under three minutes, but sometimes you need that kind of game we have done, after you get better.
In some ways are you saying the players need to give the spectators more? If the fire is not there?
PG: We have to do it, but everyone is like relaxed. The Premier League doesnt wait. We have an opponent in Arsenal who is like, they have the fire.
Do you think they look like a team that hasnt won the Premier League for a long time and you look like a team thats won it four or five times?
PG: Two decades. Without winning the Premier League. And every player knows they will go down in history. Thats how we felt when we won the first Premier League and break all the records and another one back-to-back, and two times back-to-back. In life and everything we have the fire inside, its not, we dont have to ask anything, I just explained the reality that is so comfortable, and opponents dont wait. Are we down there? No, were second in the league, so we are not 20 points behind.
But its not my questions, youre not happy with your team?
PG: Of course Im not. I dont recognise my team. My team always have passion, desire, and run and everything.
Obviously youve told all this to them in the dressing room?
PG: I dont have to tell you what I said.
Come on, tell us.
PG: No, absolutely not.
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