Pep Guardiola was left fuming after Manchester City put in a poor first-half performance before they battled back to beat Tottenham 4-2 on Thursday night.
Man City went into this midweek game against Spurs needing a win after their 2-1 Manchester derby defeat to United over the weekend at Old Trafford. They got off to a terrible start though as they found themselves 2-0 down at half-time.
Guardiola’s side made a slow start and they were punished by Tottenham, who took control via goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal.
The Premier League holders were booed off by their home supporters at the break but they came to life following the restart.
Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland netted soon after the interval before a brace from Riyad Mahrez took the game away from Tottenham at the Etihad. This 4-2 victory reduces the gap between City and Arsenal to five points.
They face Wolves next before Arsenal come up against Man Utd later in the day on Sunday. So having played two games more, City could be just two points behind the leaders if they beat Julen Lopetegui’s side.
Guardiola was far from happy from what he saw from his team and fans on Thursday evening.
“I cannot deny how happy we are. But we were far away from the team that we were,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“We concede four fouls and we don’t react. There was nothing from the stomach and the guts, the passion, fire, desire to win from minute one.”
On City’s supporters, Guardiola said: “They booed because we were losing but not because we played badly.
“Maybe it’s the same as our team, maybe we are comfortable after four Premier Leagues in five years.
“How do I get the fire back? It’s my duty, my job. I want my fans back. I don’t recognise my team. I’m not going to tell you what I said.”
Jack Grealish added that “it was silent for a while” in the dressing room at half-time.
“I thought we actually did all right in the first half, we had the better chances but like last week we conceded a goal,” Grealish told Sky Sports.
“Obviously it was not the best dressing room at half-time, it was silent for a while.
“I wasn’t thinking about the table, Just the game. Since I’ve been here I’ve lost both games against Spurs. Riyad was on fire and he helped us.”
Mahrez added: “I thought we played good in the first half so when we came back we were frustrated.
“The manager spoke to us and we knew we could come back. We showed what we are.
“We scored two goals early and it put us in a great position. I think we deserved to win. It was a good night.”
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