Guardiola offers unusual excuse after Man City loss at Spurs

Pep Guardiola has offered a bizarre explanation following Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat at Tottenham – and admitted the journey was like going to “northern Europe”.

City suffered their second loss in four Premier League matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium thanks to Harry Kane’s first-half strike as they missed the chance to close the gap on leaders Arsenal at the top of the table. It was a poor performance from Guardiola’s side as they lacked guile and creativity throughout.

Guardiola: It’s like going to northern Europe

He said: “Coming from Manchester to London, it’s like going to northern Europe. It’s four hours, 20 minutes to get to a hotel. It’s so exhausting, I’m sorry. We need to come back to Manchester and prepare the game against Aston Villa.”

City have to come down to London seven times in the Premier League calendar year, with Fulham, Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham, Palace and Brentford the other six sides. They have to travel even further to get to south coast trio Brighton, Southampton and Bournemouth – with the latter expected to take in excess of five hours from Manchester.

Meanwhile, their closest away day is across the city to Manchester United, while Everton, Liverpool and Leeds are all under an hour’s drive. Newcastle will also take more than two hours, with Leicester, Aston Villa and Wolves in and around the same distance.

Guardiola also spoke about his side’s mentality and how they now have a chance to bounce back against Aston Villa next weekend. Despite his team’s recent blip in form, he claimed that he has a “lot of gratitude for these players” and will fight to improve their situation.

“Normally when we win it is a real team and when we lose it is not,” he added. “I have a lot of gratitude for these players. I always try to do my best. I said many times, I knew that we were not the same after winning a lot – me the first when I talk about that – but the way we try to go and fight for every ball until the end, we try until the end. I always try to do the next step.

“It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. We have to try to do it now, we are sad. Tomorrow we will watch the game, reflect and then think about Aston Villa – that will be tough- with our people and fans. It will be a long season for everyone and we will try to continue.

“We are a team that scores goals but I could not expect against Tottenham to create a lot of chances. We created in the beginning but they defended with nine players really well, well organised, the squad is fantastic that they have.”

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