Man City boss Pep rues fluffing too many scoring opportunities in 1-1 draw against Forest that keeps them two points below table leaders Arsenal
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan and Erling Haaland (right) stand in disbelief after the Norwegian striker misses a goal scoring opportunity against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City had only themselves to blame for failing to kill off Nottingham Forest in a 1-1 draw that damaged their bid to retain the Premier League title.
Arsenal’s 4-2 win at Aston Villa earlier on Saturday had moved them back to the top of the table at City’s expense. But Guardiola’s side were on course to regain pole position after Bernardo Silva’s 40th-minute strike from the edge of the area opened the scoring at the City Ground. However, Erling Haaland missed two sitters and Kevin De Bruyne also wasted a good chance before Chris Wood’s tap-in for his first Forest goal in the 84th minute rocked the champions.
Intense title battle
The result left second-placed City two points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand to extend their title race lead after bouncing back from their midweek 3-1 loss to Guardiola’s men. Guardiola conceded City were the victims of their own downfall after such sloppy finishing.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
“It was a brilliant performance, we played really good but we didn’t score. At this level you have to score and that is why we dropped points,” he said.
“The first half should already be 2-0 or 3-0, we conceded one shot on target and we dropped points. We are sad and disappointed but the way we played was really good. We missed goals that were one metre to the goalkeeper, not just one, a few. That is why we didn’t win. What can I say?”
Also read: Pep Guardiola: We were lucky
Guardiola showed the tension is mounting in the title fight when he was booked in the second half. The Spaniard confronted the fourth official in a furious reaction to referee Graham Scott’s decision not to award a foul after Haaland went down under a challenge from Joe Worrall when clean through on goal.
“We don’t make any excuses. I could say many things that have happened this season,” Guardiola said, going on to explain exactly how he got the yellow card.
Yellow-carded for protesting
“I don’t know, it looks like the last man [Haaland] went to the ’keeper and fell down. Why would you fall down when you are one against one with the ’keeper? I was complaining to the fourth official, why would Haaland stop when he was one-on-one to score a goal and after that I got a yellow card.”
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