Pep Guardiola reacted furiously after Manchester City narrowly survived Tottenham’s first-half scare in a thrilling Premier League clash at Etihad.
It was a near-shocker for Manchester City despite dominating the game in the first half as Tottenham suddenly swung into a two-goal lead within the space of four minutes late in the first half.
Meanwhile, they needed to recover from the shock defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford to keep the pressure on Arsenal.
Tottenham, on the other hand, also needed to avoid a defeat against the defending champions if they must retain top-four hopes amidst the incredible push of Newcastle who were making inroads into the race.
Spurs had lost their last match to Arsenal in front of their home fans, and a two-goal lead in the first half was a great result amid uncertainties in the team following a run of poor results.
Spurs played second flddle to the star-studded City throughout the first half but were able to stop City from finding the back of the net despite the sustained pressure.
They had less of the ball possession but were clinical and intimidating to the city defense when charging forward on counterattack.
Against the run of play, The North London boys pulled a shocker in the 44th minute. Kulusevski hit City with a good strike to give Tottenham the lead.
In the second minute of first-half stoppage-time, Emerson doubled the lead, and Antonio Conte’s men went into the first half with a surprise 2-0 lead.
Conte got his maneuvers right. Keeping City at bare in their own half while plunging forward on speedy counterattack while with the ball.
City returned to the second half hungrier to overturn the shock two goals deficit after trailing the visitors but they faced an uphill task.
Losing the match against Spurs would have dealt a big blow to their Premier League title chase with Arsenal perfectly maintaining their brilliant run.
They ramped up attempts to find a goal and pulled a comeback against Spurs. Tottenham then came under intense pressure from the start of the second half.
City finally got their opener in the 52nd minute with Argentina international Julian Alvarez opening the scoring for the home side.
A minute later, Erling Haaland scored the equaliser for City bringing the scoreline to a dramatic 2-2 draw with over 30 minutes left in the game.
At 2-2 draw, the hosts were just a goal from securing all three points, and need no magic to tame Tottenham as they had the game perfectly under control.
In the 64th minute, Ryad Mahrez scored to give Manchester City the lead. Tottenham did little to mount a response after surrendering a two goal lead and trailing the hosts.
Mahrez then scored again in the 90th minute to bag his brace and seal the win for the hosts as they ran out with a 4-2 win after the final whistle.
Furious Pep Guardiola blast players and fans for Tottenham threat
Speaking in a post-match press conference, Pep Guardiola blame his players for not being themselves and also shift the blame to the fans for booing the team after the dismal first half display.
“[We lacked] guts, passion, fire, desire to win from minute one. The same with the fans, they are silent for 45 minutes. I want my fans back. The fans have to shout”, Guardiola said.
“They booed because we were losing, but not because we played bad. We played good. We were better. They booed because we were losing, but maybe it’s like our team.
“Maybe they’re too comfortable because we have won four Premier Leagues in five years. After we scored a goal they react, but tsch, that is not the point.”
He again conceded on the Premier League title race, saying the team cannot catch up with Arsenal if they continue with such cadence.
‘I don’t recognise my team, they [previously] had the passion and desire to run. Do you think we are going to chase the gap to Arsenal the way we are playing? No way.’
‘I want a reaction from the whole club – everyone,’ he added. ‘We are a happy flowers organisation. I don’t want happy flowers. I want to beat Arsenal. Play this way and Arsenal will destroy us.
City host Wolves in their next Premier League fixture, and will hope Arsenal drop points against Manchester United to opened up the title race.