Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will be “destroyed” by Arsenal in the Premier League title race if they fail to improve after a thrilling second half to beat Tottenham 4-2 on Friday. Dejan Kulusevski scored two goals in three minutes just before half time Emerson Royals see City staring down the barrel of a second successive defeat. but Julian AlvarezErling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez Mahrez added his second late on 12 minutes early in the second half to move Guardiola’s men within five points of leaders Arsenal, who have a game in hand.
City and Arsenal will still face each other twice in the league this season, but Guardiola has targeted his players to rest on their laurels after winning four league titles in five seasons.
“We can’t deny how happy we are, but we are far from the team we were,” Guardiola said.
“I want a reaction not only from the players but from all the clubs. We are a happy flower organisation. I don’t want to be, I want to beat Arsenal. If we play like that Arsenal will destroy us.”
Tottenham have made a habit of coming from behind after slow starts this season, but a third defeat in four league games has reversed the role as Antonio Conte’s men are still five points off the top four.
Spurs’ half-time lead owed much to City’s uncharacteristic mistakes.
Moments later Rodri was thrown back into his own box why harry tackle and when Ederson blocked his shot, Emerson went in for the rebound.
“We gave them the first goal and then the second goal was ridiculous,” Guardiola added.
Guardiola stuck to his guns at half-time instead of sending in the cavalry from the bench and it took just 18 minutes for the champions to turn the game around.
Alvarez started the fight, looking for the roof of the net, keeping a cool head despite the pressure of the goalmouth.
The hosts equalized within two minutes as Haaland headed in Mahrez’s ball across the face of the goal to end his three-game goal drought.
It was Tottenham who should have struck next Ivan PerisicA shot from Kulusevski’s inviting cross hit the post from Rico Lewis.
Instead, it was City who got the decisive fifth goal with questions again being asked of the goalkeeper. Hugo Lloris.
The former France captain’s own goal got Arsenal off to the perfect start in the north London derby at the weekend and he was beaten again at his near post, although Mahrez’s strike deflected off Ben Davies.
Mahrez then took his tally to six goals in seven games since the World Cup break as he looked to have a looser touch. Clement Lenglet And this time left Lloris with no chance with a faint finish over the advancing goalkeeper.
“You never lose a game like this with more experience,” Spurs manager Conte said. “This is the first time in my career that my team has conceded so many goals (in one half).”
Featured video of the day
The Great Indian Wrestling Crisis
Topics covered in this article