Aston Villa vs Manchester City: What did Pep Guardiola make about City’s surprise loss at Villa Park?

The defending champions were nowhere near their best as they struggled to have much influence in the game.

Pep Guardiola in a file photo; Credit: Manchester City Twitter page
By Karthik Raman | Dec 7, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester City suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday night. The defending champions were nowhere near their best as they struggled to have much influence in the game. In fact, City created very little going forward, which was in contrast to the hosts who looked really threatening in the final third. The game’s only goal came in the 74th minute through a Leon Bailey’s deflected strike.

After the match, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gave an honest assessment of the result. He believed that the better team won that fixture. “The better team won. Aston Villa was better than us. They are well organised, fast and [have] physical players and team and they are able to control many aspects. That is the reason why they are up there, playing good football and we could not do it,” Guardiola, quoted on the club’s website, said after the match.

He added: “It’s my duty, my job to find the way to come back. I give credit to Aston Villa, first of all. They do it. The first half we struggled to follow what we spoke [about]. [We said] something at half-time [and] it was much better, the team had another dynamic but we didn’t find the players to make the assist, the cross, the pass. We arrive there but we didn’t have the feeling that ‘oh we are going to do something’. And we miss it.”

Pep Guardiola on Rodrigo’s absence

One of the notable absentees for Man City on the night was Rodrigo. In the past, City have struggled to cement their authority in the midfielder’s absence, which was the case on Wednesday night too. “Of course he’s [Rodrigo] important but today we tried with Manu playing there, with John playing there. John made an incredible effort after a long time [out]. He’s back and played good,” he explained.

Nonetheless, Guardiola wants to give full credit to the home side for getting the three points. “Yes give more credit to Aston Villa. They have the ability to punish you and they contact behind our players. They played good. We have to accept it. We have to admit it. When a team is better we have to recognise it. It’s that. Before when we play in a good level in the past, we were able to win, now we did not do it. That’s why we have to change the dynamic on Sunday in Luton and come back to our best,” he explained.

The manager further added: “It’s my job to find a way to do it. Today is simple, the better team won. They were better, we have to accept it. I said to the players, in football it happens, I know you want it, I know you can do it because you proved it to me and everyone many times. I have to reflect on this one and try to do it.”

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