Cape Town - Pep Guardiola conceded that the pitch
played a part in Manchester City’s important win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on
Monday, with Erik Lamela’s second-half miss the key moment.
The Argentine looked odds on to score late on as Spurs
pushed to cancel out Riyad Mahrez’s early opener but fired wildly over the bar
after being set up by Dele Alli, although replays showed that the ball bobbled
just before Lamela connected.
With the surface at the national stadium still patchy after
hosting several NFL matches in recent weeks, Guardiola said that the poor state
of the pitch contributed to the lack of quality on display
“Of course, it was a good victory against a tough opponent,
one of the more physical opponents I have faced in my career,” said the
“Congratulations to both sides because it was a good game in
difficult conditions with the pitch.
“To play a football game in that pitch is not easy. That’s
why there were many mistakes that usually should not happen.”
“Lamela had a clear chance and due to the grass, they did
not score,” he added. “If the grass is good, Lamela with his quality in his
left foot is in a better position to score a goal.”
“Of course, it’s a good victory, for the conditions and the
tough opponents. Congratulations to both sides.”
Spurs boss Pochettino also blamed the pitch for Lamela’s
"When the ball was going to Erik I said 'goal' but no,
watching the replay, the ball just bounced before his boot and that is why he
"I think it was a great game in difficult
circumstances. I feel very proud. The effort was fantastic, and we competed
really, really well. It is a shame we conceded after five minutes but the team
was good. I am happy with the performance."