The Spanish tactician’s team suffered their first defeat of the campaign to the Blues.
After a 15-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, defending champions Manchester City slumped to their first defeat against a stubborn Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge. The Blues’ upset the league leaders by winning the game 2-0 thanks to goals by their unusual scorers N’Golo Kante and David Luiz.
The loss was obviously proved as a setback for Pep Guardiola’s side as it paved way for Liverpool, to move up to the top of the table, superior by a point. The Reds had earlier thrashed a toothless Bournemouth, 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium with Mohamed Salah scoring an excellent hattrick which meant they replaced City at the top. Despite the disappointing result, Guardiola saw it as an important lesson for his team and was of the view that it will only help them to bounce back stronger.
The Spaniard also warned his players against being complacent, if they want to bring more honours to the club especially the Champions League this season. “The first eight, 10 minutes of the second half they [Chelsea] were better than us, but after that and in the first half we were fantastic. It’s a joy for me as a manager to watch my players. We stayed high, regained a lot of balls, attacked and created enough chances to score one or two in the first half, unfortunately it didn’t happen. But that is a good lesson.”
“That is the level of the Champions League. People say Manchester City is favourite for the Champions League but this is the [level of the] Champions League – they [Chelsea] had one chance and scored one goal. The opponents are so good, so clever. That is what’s going to happen in the future in the bigger stages,” added the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager.
Furthermore, the 47 year-old rubbished all the speculations suggesting that Jurgen Klopp’s side are now the favourites to win the title saying, “Why? Because they’re one point in front? Yesterday we were the favourites. In 24 hours it’s changed.”
The loss for City stopped them once again from repeating Arsenal’s incredible feat of becoming the ‘Invincibles’ in 2004, when they finished the season without a single defeat. While Chelsea did it this season, it was Liverpool who had stepped into City’s way last season, as the defeat at Anfield ensured they didn’t achieve the feat. But Guardiola found a way out of it saying, “We’re not here to be invincibles. We’re here to be champions.”
On the other hand, Maurizio Sarri was happy the way his team performed especially after the loss against Wolves earlier this week but also confessed that his side were lucky to beat City. “We are really pleased but we have a team with some difficulties to be motivated. In this kind of match it’s very easy to have great motivation and determination. We need continuity in motivation and determination otherwise we can win this kind of match and lose points in another match.”
Both City and Chelsea will focus now on European competitions as the former host Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in the Champions League on Thursday, while the latter travel to Hungarian side Vidi on the same day for their Europa League tie.