Men's Team

Guardiola calls for more ‘fire’ after Spurs fightback

Pep Guardiola said he is determined to win a third successive Premier League title but added that City need to play with more ‘fire’.

His side pulled off a stunning turnaround against Spurs when we fought back from being two goals behind at half-time to secure a 4-2 victory.

The win saw the gap at the top of the table to leaders Arsenal cut to five points, having played a game more, and with two league games against the Gunners still to come.

But Guardiola believes his side need to improve. 

“We have to do work with fire in there in every situation,” he said following the win against Totenham. “It’s not about being better or not better, it’s to think: let’s go.

“It’s normal to be behind other teams but it’s about: let’s go. We have been in this position many times behind Liverpool.

“We were lucky today. I didn’t expect us to come back at half-time against Tottenham. 5-4-1? Aggressive. They go to the referee and defend each other. It’s football my friend. It’s happened. I want to come back. If we want to win something, we have to come back.”

Premier League
1 Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal 19 16 2 1 45 16 29 50 WWDWW
2 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 20 14 3 3 53 20 33 45 DWLWW
3 Newcastle United FC Newcastle United Newcastle 20 10 9 1 33 11 22 39 WDDWD
Last updated: 2 February 2023

Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland started the comeback against Spurs with two goals in the space of three minutes before Riyad Mahrez struck twice.

Guardiola was also impressed by the performances of Rico Lewis and Nathan Ake, who helped stopped Tottenham’s attacking trio from adding to their two first-half goals.

“Without Nathan right now we cannot play good,” the boss added. “Rico, 18 years old, was amazing in the Carabao Cup [and] against Leeds, the most aggressive team in the Premier League. He was in the small spaces, tap tap tap.

“At Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after one minute, he changed the game.

“Julian will run but we need everyone. Football is not just about skills - there has to be something inside.”

Guardiola also said it will be a challenge to catch Arsenal but that he has no doubt about the quality of our squad.

“This is a challenge, I want it,” he added. “ Are you going to judge the quality of these players? I love them, they are fantastic players.

“There are details that come from the success we have had. We have had a lot of success.

“People say it’s not a success if we don’t win the Champions League? We won a lot in this country - two back-to-back in this league. What a success, that is not normal.”

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