Pep Guardiola outlines key fear for Man City’s title race with Arsenal after ‘lucky’ win over Tottenham


Pep Guardiola questioned his Manchester City team’s character and desire despite producing a comeback from two goals down to beat Tottenham.

Two late first-half goals put Spurs en route to a surprise victory at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night and City were booed off at the break, before Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez scored in a 4-2 win.

That cut Arsenal’s lead in the Premier League title race to five points, having played a game fewer, yet Guardiola made clear his unhappiness with his team after the game.

The Spaniard questioned his players’ “competitiveness”, saying he “didn’t recognise” them and that they are “far away” from their previous best.

He told Sky Sports: “There is nothing from the stomach, the guts. Today we were lucky, but if we don’t change sooner or later we’ll again drop points.”

Guardiola continued: “[We’re missing] passion, fire, desire to win from one minute. It’s similar with our fans, they are silent for 45 minutes. They booed because we were losing not because we played bad.

“It’s the same as our team, maybe we’re so comfortable after winning four Premier Leagues in five years. After we scored a goal they reacted but that’s not the point.”

When asked if his players were lacking “fire”, the City coach said: “Definitely.

“Otherwise we don’t concede the goals we score in every single game. We need them. Today we were lucky but after we will not be lucky. I want my fans back, my fans here. Not my away fans - they are the best.

“Everyone is relaxed. The Premier League won’t wait, Arsenal have an opening... they have the fire. Two decades without a title. Every player knows it’ll be history, like how we felt when we first won the league and broke all the records. I just explain the reality that everything is so comfortable and opponents don’t wait.”