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    Friday, January 20, 2023

    Guardiola Takes Swipe at Man City Fans

    Manchester City might have rallied to beat Tottenham in the Premier League but manager Pep Guardiola did not seem happy with the performance. Guardiola said the "fire" had "definitely" gone from his team and it is his "duty" to get it back. He was also critical of supporters at the Etihad and his players. City are five points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.

    Pep Guardiola said he doesn’t "recognise" his Manchester City team despite their stirring fightback against Tottenham, and criticised a lack of "passion and fire" from players and fans.

    Having lost at Manchester United in their last game, City looked set for another blow to their title hopes after conceding twice in two minutes at the end of the first half at the Etihad.

    City were booed off but bounced back in style with four goals in the second half to turn the game around. City are five points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, having played a game more.

    Despite the positive result, City manager Guardiola made it clear he is not impressed with the way things are going in a surprisingly frank post-match interview.

    "I cannot deny how happy we are, but we are far away from the team that we were,” he told Sky Sports.

    "Not in terms of the play, but there are many things like competitiveness, in terms of what we have to do, many things where we are far away. There was nothing from the stomach, from the guts, today we were lucky, but if we don’t change then sooner or later we will drop points again.”

    Pressed on what City are lacking, Guardiola said: "Passion, fire, desire, to win from minute one. The same with the fans. The fans are silent for 45 minutes.

    "They booed [at half-time] because we were losing, not because we played bad. We played good. We had more chances…they booed because we were losing. Maybe it’s like our team, we were so comfortable winning four Premier Leagues in five years and that’s why we…after they score a goal we react but that’s not the point.”

    Defending champions City have lost three times in the league this season but are still in the hunt for another title, especially with two games to come against Arsenal.

    However, asked if the fire has gone out of everything, Guardiola said: "Definitely. Otherwise we don’t concede the goals we concede in every single game, we need them.”

    City have won the Premier League for four of the last five seasons.

    Guardiola was asked how he restores City’s fire after so much success in recent years.

    "It’s my duty, my job, I want my fans back here. Not the away fans, they are the best, but my fans here. The Premier League doesn’t wait. We have an opponent in Arsenal who have the fire.

    "I don’t recognise my team, my team always has passion and desire, and everyone runs and everything.”

    City can move two points behind Arsenal when they face Wolves on Sunday.

    Arsenal play after City on Sunday when they face Manchester United, who are eight points off top spot having played a game more.

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