Pep Guardiola ripped into his Manchester City players – and the club’s supporters – despite seeing his side come from two goals down to beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium.
Goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal had sent the Premier League champions into the half-time interval 2-0 down, but they showed their fighting qualities to turn things around and run out worthy winners.
But Guardiola stated after the game his team don’t have a chance of winning anything if they continue to behave and play like they have been, and his frustrations further boiled over when he further analysed City’s performance.
“I cannot deny how happy we are, but we are far away from the team that we were,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “Not in terms of play, we played good enough but there are many things like competitiveness, in terms of what we have to do in many things that we are far away.
“Rico Lewis conceded four fouls, but they weren’t yellow cards because it’s Rico Lewis and we don’t react. We play because ‘my manager told me to play this and how to do this’, but there’s nothing from the stomach or the gut.
“Today, we were lucky but it wouldn’t change, sooner or later we are again [going] to drop points. [We are missing] passion, fire and desire and to win from minute one.
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Guardiola’s criticism wasn’t just reserved for his players, as he also questioned the atmosphere inside the Etihad and the backing of City’s home supporters.
“It’s the same with our fans, they are silent for 45 minutes. They booed because we were losing, not because we played badly. We played good, we had more chances, expected goals from Tottenham is 0.89 so we were better.
“That is my duty, my job,” Guardiola continued when asked how he could reignite the fire that appears to be burning out. “I want my fans back, I want my fans here. Not my away fans, they are the best, but my fans here [at the Etihad]. The support for every corner and every action and support it. We have to do it, but everyone is relaxed.
“The Premier League doesn’t wait. We have the opening with Arsenal and they have the fire.
“We don’t have the fire inside and we don’t have to ask anything, I just explained the reality that everything is so comfortable. And the opponents don’t wait. Of course I’m not [happy with my team]. I don’t recognise my team. My team always has passion and desire and run and everything.”