Pep Guardiola body language shows how fragile Man City are in Manchester United defeat – Tyrone Marshall

Instead, a win that was within City&aposs grasp with 12 minutes to go turned into a defeat and a potentially crushing blow in the title race. Guardiola would spend most of the rest of the game remonstrating with fourth official Robert Jones. At one point, when Erling Haaland was denied a late penalty, Guardiola was a couple of yards on the pitch. Having struggled to hide his frustration with his team, he was now struggling to hide it with the officials.

When the final whistle blew on a chaotic second half Guardiola shook hands with Erik ten Hag and marched straight over to Stuart Atwell. He pulled Ederson and Joao Cancelo away before leading the debate on behalf of his side. It was an animated Guardiola, but then it had been all afternoon.

He looked like a manager trying to hold it all together, which is an apt metaphor for a team trying to hold it all together. It&aposs too early for the cracked badge and the &aposCity in crisis&apos talk, but there is undoubtedly concern at the way this team is performing at the moment. They&aposve just not been good enough and, aside from maybe 20 minutes in the second half, they didn&apost deserve to win this derby contest.

If the equaliser was a little unfortunate, given the contentious offside call, they were caught on the break for the winner and defended it poorly. They had lost control.

Four minutes earlier, they had been within touching distance of winning it. When Jack Grealish&aposs header hit the net Guardiola turned to his bench and pointed his finger. Acclaim for an inspired substitution or an emotional reaction on an afternoon that took its toll on him? Either way, it was an emotional high that wouldn&apost last.

On a chilly day in Manchester the Catalan had initially wanted to keep his hands in his pocket as he patrolled his technical area, but as the first half wore on he was finding that increasingly difficult.

City started reasonably well but regressed in the opening 45 minutes and by the break there was a sense they were hanging on. Marcus Rashford missed two good chances, the second of which came from a loose pass from Kevin De Bruyne.

The Blues struggled to get anything going. With United man-marking their midfield options, including Anthony Martial blocking a passing lane to Rodri, it gave them few options and build-up was difficult. There was frustration in the away end as well as in the dugout.

City would often use Erling Haaland to drop into midfield to receive the ball to try and circumvent the problem, but it didn&apost always bring about any change. When City did progress the ball forward they were sloppy with it.

In the space of five minutes towards the end of the first half Guardiola slapped his thighs when an aimless Bernardo Silva flick conceded possession, then waved his arms about in frustration when Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden played careless passes in the final third to end promising attacking situations.

Guardiola had become a picture of agitation on the touchline. Nothing necessarily unusual in this, but it&aposs often accompanied by exuberant clapping and encouragement. This time, it felt like there was little of that.

The City boss has become increasingly critical of his squad in public of late and said he had seen their abject display at Southampton in midweek coming. The concern was that, as bad as that display was, it wasn&apost isolated. City have been poor recently against Brentford and Everton at the Etihad and they look short of being the slick machine we have become accustomed to watching.

That inconsistency manifested itself across 90 minutes at Old Trafford. They were awful in the first half, controlled the game for around 20 minutes after half-time, but then fell apart under pressure late on. It all added up to a defeat that could leave them eight points behind Arsenal at the end of the weekend.

Guardiola&aposs anger with the officials was probably justified, but it did feel like his own frustration on the sidelines was more telling. His team aren&apost on it at the moment and he&aposs struggling to put his finger on why.

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