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Sunday 20 October 2019

Guardiola concedes that City have a lot of ground to make up

Man City 0 Wolves 2

DOUBLE: Wolves scorer Adama Traore. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates
DOUBLE: Wolves scorer Adama Traore. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates

Pep Guardiola conceded his Manchester City side had a lot of points to make up after falling eight behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with a surprise loss to Wolves.

Two late goals from Adama Traore at the Etihad Stadium saw Wolves snatch an unlikely 2-0 win over the Premier League champions yesterday.

The defeat was City's second of the season and leaves Liverpool with a significant lead after only eight games of the campaign.

City manager Guardiola said: "It is a lot of points. They didn't drop points. From many circumstances they haven't dropped points.

"But when one team is eight points in front it is better not to think too much about that. It is better to think about what is next.

"It was a bad day, sometimes it happens. We started quite well and after we conceded, two situations in our build-up where it's impossible to defend, we got a little bit nervous.

"We controlled them better in the second half but at the end, with us attacking and people up front, we lost balls in positions where it is so difficult and they were clinical.

"Before that we hit the post we had actions but the way we played was not good.

"It was not a good day, we didn't play good."

City's defence had looked unsteady in the first half but Wolves spurned a handful of gilt-edged chances and it seemed they might pay the price as the hosts cranked up the pressure in the second half.

David Silva hit the woodwork from a free-kick but Wolves were resolute and pounced late on as Raul Jimenez twice teed up Traore for breakaway goals.

Guardiola said: "We lost to a good team that were really well organised, good physicality, strong in the air and so fast on the counter-attack."

City were without playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy was also ruled out prior to the game with a hamstring injury.

Joao Cancelo started at left-back but further chances were necessary at half-time.

Guardiola said: "Kyle Walker could not continue in the second half.

"Kyle had an infection in his stomach.

"In the last weeks he didn't train well. He lost a bit of weight and he made an incredible effort to play in that position.

"But at half-time he said he did not feel good so we made the substitution."

Wolves' victory was only their second in the Premier League this season and came after a midweek Europa League trip to Turkey.

Manager Nuno Espirito Santo said: "I'm very proud. It was a very good performance -- but more than the performance was the work the players did.

"It is very difficult to play against City because they are so good and move the ball so fast. It requires a lot of high-speed running. The boys worked very hard and that was good. I am happy and satisfied because this is how we work. For all the games - and we have had 17 already - we always compete under our own gameplan.

"Sometimes we perform better than other days but the motivation to compete is always there.

"This is what makes me more proud - having a fantastic group of players that want to grow and believe in the way we work. Now we have a challenge to sustain this level."

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