Pep Guardiola refused to criticise his players after the 2-0 defeat to Spurs.

City dominated the game for long periods, missed a penalty and stuck the woodwork twice as well as having 18 shots to Tottenham’s three.

On another day, City would have deservedly taken three points home.

READ | 10-man City beaten by Spurs

“How can I criticise my players?” said Pep. “We played well, but we lost the game.

“They arrived twice and scored two goals. I don’t have too many things to say about our performance.

“It’s happened before, too, against United where they created a few and we did a lot but didn’t score.

“We cannot say as a team we can’t score goals because we score a lot; in this situation, the only thing we can do is play better and maybe be mentally stronger.

“We have to accept it and work on that. We need to analyse that. Football is to create chances and concede a few.

“I always believe in this concept. If you do this, you will be close to winning the games. A few times it happened this season but not today.”

The Catalan pinpointed Oleksandr Zinchenko’s red card as the game’s main turning point, adding: “It was a key point. It was tough mentally for the team. We spoke to him at half time to be careful on yellow cards. 

“To create more and concede a few – this is the only way I know.

"We played to win the game. I didn’t see a lack of desire to win or that we’re far away. The result is the result.”

And on Raheem Sterling’s injury, the boss said: “I don’t know, I haven't spoken to anyone about the injury.”