Pep Guardiola makes surprising Man City claim after Aston Villa clash


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he was more impressed with his team’s second half performance than the first half against Aston Villa.

City were in a commanding position going into half time thanks to goals from Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and a Riyad Mahrez penalty. The lead proved to be an unassailable one for Villa, despite Ollie Watkins’ second half strike.

The result means Villa have lost their last two games in the Premier League following last weekend’s home defeat to Leicester City. Villa will look to bounce back when they face Arsenal at Villa Park in next Saturday’s early kick off.

Despite all three of City’s goals coming in the first half, Guardiola said he was actually happier with the second half performance of his team. The City boss did admit that ‘anything’ could have happened once Villa got a goal back.

“We played a really good game, unfortunately the best moments were in the second half,” he told Sky Sports. “We played better than the first half and we had the feeling that we were going to score more.

“We concede the goal and after 3-1 in the Premier League is always open but we make a very good game.

“We pressed better in the second half, we adjusted something, we controlled the ball better. Our relationship with the players was much better so we played better, but unfortunately we conceded the goal, another mistake and after with 3-1 everything can happen but we played a really good game.

“We are not a team that is incredible in transition, we play in control but our build up has to be a little bit quicker. But in general the game was really really good.”

The game did see striker Erling Haaland replaced at half time, with Gurdiola explaining that the Norwegian was feeling the effects of a knock in the opening half of the game.

“Haaland was uncomfortable,” he said. “At 3-0 we don’t want to take risks. We’ll see and assess in the next days. If he is not ready, we play another one. Hopefully he’s ready but we will see.”

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