Pep Guardiola said he had “no regrets” over Manchester City’s performance at Crystal Palace despite seeing his side drop two points that could prove critical to the title race.
City were characteristically dominant with the ball at Selhurst Park but could not break down their energetic and well-organised opponents, meaning Liverpool can move a point behind them if they overcome Arsenal on Wednesday night. Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte missed their best chances to score, the latter after João Cancelo had struck an upright from range, but Guardiola could find no fault with his players afterwards.
“We played a really, really good game,” the City manager said. “Really good at a difficult stadium against a difficult side who defend deep. The way we played, I have no regrets. I would have preferred to win, but we played well.”
Asked whether the title race had now been blown wide open, Guardiola repeated his frequent refrain that, even when City were 14 points clear during spells in February, he had never considered it to be over.
Guardiola’s decision not to use any substitutes raised eyebrows, particularly given City struggled for openings in the latter stages. “I was thinking about that but the guys were playing good, the game was in a high rhythm,” he explained.
Patrick Vieira was delighted with his players, who have now taken four points from their meetings with City this season. “It’s a really good statistic,” he said. “Our team performance was excellent: when you play against these kinds of teams and players you need to be a little bit lucky at times and we forced that luck to be on our side.”
Palace’s players looked exhausted at full time. “We had to run because of the technical quality of City,” Vieira said. “The majority of our players are tired but it’s a really good feeling.”
Source: The Guardian