Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola tried to remain upbeat after watching his side slide to a deserved 2-0 defeat at high-flying Tottenham.
The game saw Guardiola renew his rivalry with old adversary Jose Mourinho, and it was the latter who came out on top thanks to goals from Son Heung-min, his ninth of the season, and substitute Giovani Lo Celso.
It was a typically dogged performance from Mourinho’s side, who stifled much of City’s creativity before hitting the four-time Premier League champions on the break.
“We had a long period without strikers but can’t expect they will solve all our problems,” Guardiola said. “We create chances, we have counter attacks without the last pass. We’re going to change, something is going to break in games.
“The team is going to score goals. We create with 10 players behind [the ball], we create enough chances, they had two chances and two goals, we cannot score with 22 shots, much less on target, that’s the thing you need to try to do, to shoot on target and see what happens.”
Guardiola then claimed that City were on top in many facets of the game, taking a subtle swipe at Mourinho’s decision to have his side dig in and sit deep. Nevertheless, he was gracious enough to admit that Spurs are genuine title contenders who are exceptionally well drilled.
“The stats speak for themselves,” Guardiola added, via City’s official website. “We were better in many departments but we didn’t score. The team defended so deep and were waiting for a mistake.
“We found some moments but the reality is we are struggling to score goals this season. That can happen. We conceded a goal against Liverpool that we shouldn’t and again today. It’s tough. The confidence of the guys is there.
“They are a physical team, well organised team, so it’s not easy when you concede after six minutes. They are top of the league so they are more of a contender than anyone else right now.”