Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City need to get back to winning ways

Reigning Premier League champions desperate to bounce back after conceding title initiative to Liverpool following 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola cut a despondent figure after the game. EPA
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola cut a despondent figure after the game. EPA

Pep Guardiola concedes Manchester City need to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible after their shock loss to Crystal Palace.

The champions conceded the title initiative to Liverpool as they unexpectedly slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The result left City trailing the Merseysiders by four points at the top of the Premier League.

They return to action at Leicester City on Boxing Day and, with a game against Liverpool coming up on January 3, Guardiola feels three points are vital.

"We're going to Leicester needing to win," the City manager said. "Last season we dropped points and immediately won again. That's what we have to do. We have two games away before new year and we have to do that.

"When we win I insist they are calm and now it is the same. We lose a game, it happens. Focus on the next one."

The Palace defeat was City's second in the space of three Premier League games after losing at Chelsea earlier in the month.

Guardiola wants his team to respond to the setback in the same emphatic fashion they did to losing at Liverpool last January, when an eight-game unbeaten run featuring seven wins all but secured the title.

"There aren't many teams in the world that are happy when they don't win the games but we have to see how our character is," the Spaniard said.

"We have shown many times that we react well and we're going to try again. It's always tough to win at Leicester, then Southampton. We'll see what happens."

Playmaker David Silva is likely to remain on the sidelines but City will hope midfielder Fernandinho will recover from a thigh injury in time to feature at the King Power Stadium.


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