Football

We can’t win all the time: Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shrugged off his team's shock 3-2 English Premier League defeat by newly promoted Norwich City yesterday morning (Singapore time), saying his team simply cannot be expected to win every week.

Guardiola's team beat Liverpool to the title by a solitary point last season after winning their last 14 games.

But five games into this campaign, they already trail the Reds by five points.

"People cannot expect us to win or pick up 100 points all the time. We're going to recover and come back," said Guardiola after the loss at Carrow Road.

City won 32 of 38 games last season, losing only twice.

Before yesterday, they had not suffered a league defeat since their 2-1 reverse to Newcastle United on Jan 29.

In 2017/18, the Citizens achieved a record 100 points, losing just two matches in the entire campaign and finishing 19 points clear at the top.

Alarmingly for City, they were poor defensively in the absence of Aymeric Laporte, who will miss the next six months after a knee operation.

Norwich's crucial third goal came after Nicolas Otamendi was caught in possession in his own penalty area. His centre-back partner John Stones, too, had a poor game.

Ex-Reds midfielder Jamie Redknapp said on Sky Sports: "For the third goal, it's incredible talking about top-level players making mistakes like this.

"Otamendi takes a touch, he's got his arms up in the area. What is he complaining about? Any Sunday league footballer wouldn't have done that.

"Guardiola's got a difficult job. He's got to find a way of getting these two to play together...

"The second goal shows how much they're going to miss Aymeric Laporte. The chemistry between Otamendi and Stones isn't there."

Ex-Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino, meanwhile, took aim at right-back Kyle Walker, saying on talkSPORT: "I just don't think he is the player he was... I think Walker is going to lose his place... I'm totally convinced."

Football