Pep Guardiola has slammed his Manchester City players and taken a pop at the club’s fans following Thursday’s comeback win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The Premier League champions were trailing by two goals at the break with Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal netting at the end of the first half. But a superb display by City in the second period saw them turn things around and win 4-2 to close the gap to leaders Arsenal.
Goals from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland got City back on level terms within eight minutes of the second period getting under way, while a Riyad Mahrez brace secured a vital three points in the title race.
But speaking after the game, the Catalan was evidently still brewing on City’s underwhelming first-half display. “We are far away from the team that we were,” he told Sky. “There are many things in terms of competitiveness that we are very far away. There is nothing from the stomach, from the guts. If we don’t change, again we are going to drop points.
“Guts, passion, fire, desire to win from minute one [were missing]. The same with the fans, they are silent for 45 minutes. I want my fans back. Today we were lucky, but the day after we will not be lucky. I want my fans back.
“We have to do it but everyone is relaxed. The Premier League doesn’t wait. Arsenal have the fire. We don’t have the fire and everything is so comfortable.
"I don’t recognise my team, my teams had the passion and desire,” he added. “We are far away from the team we had in previous seasons. Do you think this comeback will happen every time? It won’t."
The win means City are five points before Arsenal in the table, albeit they’ve played a game more than the Gunners.