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Guardiola: We deserved to win

CALLING THE SHOTS: Manager Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman

CALLING THE SHOTS: Manager Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman

Pep Guardiola believes City’s display against Everton warranted three points.

Birthday boy Nolito’s header cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s second-half strike, but the result was disappointing as the Blues dominated, missing two penalties, creating 18 shots to the Toffees’ three and enjoying 73% of possession.

Although he felt his side deserved to win, the manager admitted setbacks are to be expected and are simply part of the learning process.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Guardiola reflected: “I’m not frustrated.

“I make a compliment to Everton - how they defended. I am sad for the players - they deserved to win the game.

“Sometimes you play bad, and you win… and then today.

“My team will be judged but never will I change the way I want to play football: it’s the only way I have. My teams play the way I want. During that process, there are problems. We improved a lot from what happened in Tottenham and Celtic.

“We made a good performance. We need to improve on that and keep going.”

When asked whether City should practice their penalties, after Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero were unsuccessful from the spot, Guardiola replied: “I don’t have time to practice everything I want to practice!

“You can practice penalties but there is no pressure there - penalties in the crucial moment are penalties.

“When we missed a penalty in the first half, they had to be more open. We found the spaces in the first 30 minutes - we arrived on the byline but no-one was there.

“We created enough chances to win the game. They had one chance - it was good action from the striker. We did everything. We cannot be too disappointed because we have to travel to Barcelona.

“I am here to try to help the players [with confidence]. We need to analyse why we didn’t win. The mood is better when you win but the players are professional enough to be stable.”

On the subject of Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Spain, Guardiola added: “All my career, I have faced attacking teams.

“Teams like Everton press up and we didn’t adapt. They push up to make pressure and we did well but they were almost man-to-man. In Barcelona, I expect they will dominate the ball. I love the way they play.

“I hear a lot of times about the Premier League's intensity. There are more games but the way they play in Germany for example is amazing.

“You must have respect for other leagues and the way they play. Barcelona have three amazing players up front. They have quality players - that is why they are in finals and semi-finals over the last six, seven, eight years…

“We missed the last pass. There are no regrets. Let’s try to be optimistic for what will happen in the future.”

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City face Everton this afternoon in a match between two of the Premier League’s form sides but it won’t be a grudge match in the technical area.

Pep Guardiola and Everton boss Ronald Koeman have a strong relationship dating back to their playing careers at Barcelona, where the pair won the Champions League together.