Man City Switched Off During Draw With Arsenal – Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he felt his side had switched off after their opening goal in the 2-2 draw at Arsenal.
City started quickly at the Emirates, with Leroy Sane firing them into a fifth-minute lead, while Kevin De Bruyne also hit the post twice.
But Arsenal fought back and Theo Walcott punished sloppy defending to level in the 40th minute.
Sergio Aguero restored City’s lead 60 seconds later before Shkodran Mustafi equalised again in the second half.
And Guardiola told a news conference: “After the first half when we scored a goal, we forgot a little bit how to play.
“We have a desire to take the ball and play and we forgot a bit to do that which is why in the first half Arsenal were better.
“I like it when my teams play with the ball. Of course they have to run, but I like when they have the personality to play. In some moments, we didn’t do that.”
City occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot, a point behind Liverpool with a game in hand and five above Manchester United, who have played a game fewer.
The draw represented a missed opportunity to pull further clear of fifth place but it could have been different had referee Andre Marriner pointed to the penalty spot in injury time when Nacho Monreal appeared to handle.
Guardiola, who spoke to the referee on the pitch at full time, added: “Monreal said he touched the ball with his hand. But he said to me that in England in those kind of situations there’s no whistles.
“What I said, I said to the referee, that’s all. The same as what happened against Tottenham [when Marriner turned down City penalty appeals after a push on Raheem Sterling] with the same referee.
“I always say it to their face, I don’t come in here to talk about the referees. But of course if Monreal said it…”
Guardiola switched to a back three for the game, with Jesus Navas a surprise starter at right wing-back and Yaya Toure on the bench.
The City boss said: “I want to congratulate Jesus Navas who was excellent against one of the best players in the world in Alexis Sanchez.
“I played him because Bacary Sagna was injured and Pablo Zabaleta were not ready. Jesus always deserves the best because he is an excellent guy, and I was so happy with him.”