Pep Guardiola says he will not compromise his principles despite his Manchester City side being well beaten by Leicester City.
The Premier League Champions led at one stage by four goals thanks to a Jamie Vardy hat trick and Andy King strike before two late goals from Aleksander Kolarov and Nolito made the final scoreline look a more respectable 4-2.
But Guardiola insisted his side didn’t play badly, though he admitted he must quickly find a way of stopping the opposition from scoring so easily.
“I have to improve to solve that, yes, that’s true,” he told a news conference. “I want to play the football of how I feel, because it’s simple like that to concede few goals, and try to score more, 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 2-0, after the third goal, how we played the second half, we tried, but of course we concede a lot of goals.”
Guardiola also defended centre-half John Stones, who was given a tough afternoon by England teammate Vardy and gifted him the final goal with a woeful backpass.
“Except the last goal — sometimes it happens — I think he made a good performance,” Guardiola added. “Of course central defenders is just defending, put the ball long, strong in the air, we are asking him, what we want is a little bit more.
“I don’t have complaints because I know when I analyse all the games we do very good things, but in the boxes the opponents arrive and they score a goal, and we don’t arrive.
“In the process to getting better, and the process to our football improving, it’s difficult.”
City didn’t win a tackle in the opening 35 minutes as Claudio Ranieri’s side started strongly but Guardiola says he’s not a coach who worries about those sort of statistics.
“I’m not a coach for the tackles, so I don’t train the tackles,” he said. “What I want is to try to play good, score goals, arrive more.
“What’s tackles? Yes, you have to win the duels, that’s true, but normally when you play good you win a lot of tackles.”
If Chelsea and Tottenham win on Sunday, City could drop out of the top four and be seven points off the top of the Premier League.
But for Leicester, the three points ease their relegation concerns — lifting them four points above the drop zone.
It also gave them a much-needed confidence boost after a run of just one win in nine Premier League games and their 5-0 thrashing by Porto in midweek.
“We wanted to do best for our fans because they support us a lot and travel to Portugal and we did not play so well. For this reason we wanted to show our best,” Ranieiri said.
“We played smart, slowed down the tempo, everyone know what we do but it is important to score two goals very early.
“This is our strength, we can’t keep possession often, our strength is to play fast, find a solution.”
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