"I cannot say we played bad": Pep Guardiola defiant after Leicester defeat

Claudio Ranieri's side raced into an early lead, and Manchester City never recovered

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Leicester City,

Image: Mike Egerton EMPICS Sport

Pep Guardiola was reluctant to crticise his players for the performance they put in as they slumped to a 4-2 defeat against Leicester.

Claudio Ranieri's side came into Saturday's game against Manchester City off the back of receiving a hiding from Porto in the Champions League during the week, with many assuming that their poor league form would continue against Guardiola's expensively assembled squad.

However, Leicester fired into a 2-0 lead after around five minutes with goals from Jamie Vardy and a stunning strike from Andy King, leaving his side fighting an uphill battle for the rest of the game. 

Vardy added a second to give them a 3-0 lead at the half-time break, before completing his hat-trick in the second half to heap further misery on Guardiola.

Two late goals from Aleksander Kolarov and Nolito were not enough to spark a comeback, but after the game Guardiola was reluctant to say that his players let him down, or that his side performed poorly. 

"No, I’m not disappointed with my players," Guardiola said. "Somebody will tell them but they know, they are professionals, they are old enough to know what happened and hopefully in the future we can improve."

Despite a poor run of form of late, which has seen his side win just four games across the league and Champions League since the start of October, Guardiola stated that he was in no doubt that his side are playing well.

"I want to play the football of how I feel, because the basics of the way we play during the season - except a few times - it was quite good. So I cannot say today we played bad, that we didn’t play with the intention to create, but after four minutes at 2-0, after the third goal, how we played the second half, we tried, but of course we concede a lot of goals.

However, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich man did admit that he still has a lot to learn when it comes to the Premier League, and that it may indeed be a very different challenge for him. 

"We concede few goals in my career as a coach, and here I cannot do that, and I have to analyse why," he said in his post-match press conference. "In the Premier League there are different things, but the pitch is the same, 11 against 11, and I have to control the little differences between other leagues. But the idea I think is good, and will be good."

Guardiola also refused to heap the blame on his players, stating that the club's squad and their previous transfer policies played no part in the defeat against Leicester. 

"I don’t complain about what the club did in the past, and what the club did was good. No, no, no. I am a guy who never complains about what happened in the past, and if I didn’t like the situation I wouldn’t have come here. I came here because it was a challenge for me and I want to do it."

Via Goal