I want the integrity of my players playing hard all the time
Burnley were beaten by a Sergio Agüero goal in the second half that has taken Pep Guardiola’s team back to the top of the Premier League with two games to play.
Guardiola was delighted with this result that leaves them favourites to win the title and said after the game: “The pitch was so, so dry and it was so difficult to move the ball quickly, but in the second half we increased our desire to win, quite similar to the game at Old Trafford, and three more points. Two games left. It was an important victory for us.
“We controlled the long ball and we had chances to score the second goal. In the last minutes anything can happen, always it is difficult if you cannot close the game. In the first half we didn’t create too much but of course it is what it is, we knew in these kind of games you play with intention and 92 points is incredible – it is in our hands, we must win our next two games and our next one against Leicester.”
Admitting that they hadn’t been at their best in the first half, he added: “We knew we just need to go forward, don’t make fouls and concede as little as possible the fouls and corners. We had a penalty not given, which I think is a penalty. We could have won by more distance, I’m so happy for the victory and now we have a week to prepare and hopefully we arrive at Brighton with the chance to be champions.
“We didn’t concede one shot on target or one corner, we are a small team but we are smart, in the first half the pitch was so dry and it was slow but in the second half we knew we had to score our goal.”
“Our shape was good, we worked hard and defended diligently, and especially in the first half I thought we delivered a very good performance and there wasn’t a massive gulf between the two sides. In the second half I warned the players they were likely to increase the tempo and play around the arc and load up the box. We held strong, but then they found a moment.
“We wanted to take the game on and deliver a performance; not for any other reason than to put in a performance and get a result. It’s nothing to do with the title and who might win it; not from me. I want the integrity of my players playing hard all the time, and I think they’ve showed that today.
“We kept trying after the goal but couldn’t find the clarity in the box and in the final third, but what was refreshing was hearing Pep and their bench screaming at their players to get it in the corner near the end, while they had four centre halves on.
“They were wasting time and doing all the things that some other teams get questioned for. That’s not a gripe; I genuinely think it’s a good thing to see that even sides like Manchester City have to do that in order to get a game over the line. They would have been smelling that banana skin of a last-minute effort, so it’s pleasing that we put enough doubt into these sides, even at this stage of the season, to think like that. It’s a big weapon to have in your locker that teams know you will keep going.”Share this page :