Pep Guardiola has stated that he is sad for his Manchester City players, as he believes they deserved to win Saturday's Premier League match against Everton. “I’m not frustrated. I make a compliment to Everton - how they defended,” admitted Guardiola. “I am sad for the players - they deserved to win the game.” Not many can argue with this, as City’s 72% possession and eight shots on target support Pep’s claim.
The Spaniard addressed the missed penalties as well. “You can practice penalties but there is no pressure there,” he explained. “Penalties in the crucial moment are penalties.” This is something that many fans will not consider. The players can take penalties for hours during training, but during a match the pressure is different. Although Maarten Stekelenburg had a blinder, the penalties were poorly taken. Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero took very similar spot kicks, both to the right and with the perfect height for Everton’s keeper to save them.
Despite his disappointment, Guardiola seems to have accepted the draw. “We did everything,” he emphasized. “We cannot be too disappointed because we have to travel to Barcelona.” He will certainly be studying the match right away. Knowing Guardiola, he will want to pick out every issue the players had, minuscule or substantial, and polish up on them before the next match.
While it is a frustrating result, Manchester City are still on top of the Premier League table. No matter how many points the squad dropped Saturday, they played well. However, City were their own worst enemies. They showed that they need to improve on their finishing. It’s straight back to the drawing board for the manager and the players.
City will face Barcelona this week at the Camp Nou, hopeing to redeem themselves following a disappointing weekend.