English Premiership

Guardiola: Stoke made it difficult for us

2017-03-09 14:29
Stoke City (AFP)

Cape Town - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola felt his side's final pass let them down at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke.

A win for the Citizens would have seen them move above Tottenham into second place on the English Premier League standings but with just a point, they find themselves in third, with 56 points, still ten adrift of leaders Chelsea, and level with Spurs.

It was the club's first slip up in four top-flight matches, having drawn 2-2 with Mauricio Pochettino's side ahead of four straight wins.

After the game, a downbeat Guardiola told the club's official website: 'They defended deep and it was complicated to find the players between the lines. We were there in the last minutes. I don’t have regrets about how they ran, how they fought.

'It’s not easy when the opponents are there. We created a lot of situations for the last pass and sometimes we missed it.'

David Silva, John Stones and Raheem Sterling were all benched for the tie, and Silva was introduced for Jesus Navas on 57 minutes as his manager tried to influence the tie - albeit unsuccessfully.

He continued: 'When Silva came in, we created a few more chances. When you analyse the chances we had, I don’t really remember more than one Stoke chance.'

Up next for City is a FA Cup quarter-final clash with Middlesbrough on Saturday before facing Monaco in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Guardiola added: 'The priority is the next game. In two and a half days, we have another game.

'In three or four days, we travel to France to play Monaco and then we have another game against Liverpool. We have to make rotations when we play a lot of games.'

'We have to focus game by game.'

Kick off is at 14:15.

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