‘They have courage. They are brave. Congratulations to Norwich’ - Pep hails Farke’s boys after shock loss
PUBLISHED: 10:50 15 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:00 15 September 2019
Defeated Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola opted to praise Norwich City rather than dig out his own players after a painful 3-2 Premier League defeat.
The reigning champions slipped up against a depleted home side in front of a raucous support at Carrow Road. The Canaries' punished defensive lapses, while Guardiola's star-studded outfit were unable to fully cash in on their dominance in territory and possession.
"They are a really good team with good players who have quality, we saw that in the way they destroyed the Championship last year," said Guardiola. "They were clinical. They have courage. They are brave.
"They want to play and when they lose the ball they defend so deep.
"We did not have urgency in the final third that we normally have. Sometimes games like this happen - we had our chances to score but didn't, so congratulations to Norwich.
"It is football - we had many opportunities, they had three or four and scored three goals. The first one was a set-piece we didn't defend, the second we were caught on the counter-attack and the third came from a mistake, but we know what we are as a team, we know what we have done and we know what we are going to do."
The Citizens' surprise defeat left them five points adrift of title rivals Liverpool with only five league games played.
"Five points (behind Liverpool) is five points - but we are in September," said Guardiola. "What are we supposed to do? Say 'it's September and congratulations to Liverpool, you champions?' Not for one second am I going to doubt my players.
"Sometimes you know we make mistakes. I think sometimes we forget these guys are human. Football is quick, things can go wrong and I must see what I can do to help them. People cannot expect we will win every game or get to 100 points every season.
"I love my players and it's a pleasure to be with them.
"They didn't create so many chances, but they got three goals - we played Bournemouth and they had more chances than Norwich did, but we won that game - football can sometimes do this."