Pep Guardiola gets humbled by interviewer and takes sly dig at Arsenal after Man City draw

Pep Guardiola addressed the media after Manchester City and Arsenal drew 1-1.

Pep Guardiola addressed the media after Man City’s draw with Arsenal (Image: beIN Sports)

Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, appeared to believe that Arsenal had fewer shots on goal than they actually did during Sunday’s 0-0 draw at the Etihad Stadium. In one particular interview, the former Barcelona manager was succinct and direct in his post-match remarks, but he still made sure to highlight the Gunners’ deep-lying defensive strategy, which was spearheaded by his former apprentice, Mikel Arteta.

The match between Guardiola and Arteta was cagey, preventing both Premier League title contenders from playing their usual expansive games at the Etihad.

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Considering that his team managed just one of the three shots on goal during the entire game, Guardiola seemed a little miffed when beIN SPORTS asked him what went wrong. “And Arsenal? The City manager responded, “How many [shots on target did they have]?”

With a cool response, the interviewer said, “2 on target.” Guardiola continued, seemingly taken off guard: “On target? I can’t recall. When there are a lot of players and a low block, it can be challenging.

With a cool response, the interviewer said, "2 on target." Guardiola continued, seemingly taken off guard: "On target? I can't recall. When there are a lot of players and a low block, it can be challenging.

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for his Arsenal players after Sunday’s draw with Man City (Image: Getty)

In open matches in the past, Guardiola and Arteta, his former assistant manager, have squared off. However, the match on Sunday was much more subdued, and the City manager seemed to play a subtle jab at his Gunners counterpart by highlighting the defensive nature of his strategy.

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“I give credit to the opponents,” the 53-year-old said, going on to pursue a fourth Premier League title in a row. “They have such a strong defense. It was challenging for us to locate the spaces because they had ten players defended in the box.”

The difference in Arsenal’s approach to the game was also noticed by City star Bernardo Silva, as wingers Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka often dropped so deep that the visitors effectively formed a back-six to defend their penalty area.

The Portuguese said to Sky Sports, “Last April they went man to man for the whole game and when you do that it is a bit of a fifty-fifty.” “Today’s Arsenal team was different and had more experience. Their young players now have a year more of experience. They had experienced playing here the previous season, and they were far better today.

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With nine games remaining, City is currently three points off the top of the table. Arsenal leads Liverpool by one point but is still two behind the leaders, who are vying for the championship to cap off Jurgen Klopp’s final season.

Guardiola feels that in order to close the gap, his team must perform flawlessly moving forward: “We have accomplished this before. To win titles, we needed to get 100 points and 98 points. All that needs to happen now is mental and physical recuperation before returning on Wednesday.”

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