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 Manager Pep Guardiola criticizes his players a head of Arsenal title race game 

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Manager Pep Guardiola criticizes his players a head of Arsenal title race game 

Pep Guardiola chastised his Manchester City players for being complacent after winning four league titles in five years.

Despite a dramatic second-half comeback to beat Tottenham 4-2 on Thursday, Pep Guardiola predicted Manchester City will be “destroyed” by Arsenal in the Premier League title chase if they do not improve.

Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal scored two goals in three minutes just before halftime to send City to their second consecutive defeat.

But Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, and Riyad Mahrez scored in a 12-minute span early in the second half, and Mahrez added his second late on to get Guardiola’s team within five points of leaders Arsenal, who have a game in hand.

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City and Arsenal still have two league meetings this season, but Guardiola chastised his players for resting on their laurels after winning four league titles in five years.

“We cannot deny how pleased we are, but we are a far cry from the team we were,” Guardiola added.

“I want a reaction from the entire club, not just the players. We are a cheerful floral organization. I don’t want to be like that; I want to beat Arsenal. Arsenal will demolish us if we continue to play like manner.”

Guardiola sent a message with his lineup selection, dropping Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva to the bench while Alvarez was paired with Haaland in a switch of system

Tottenham has established a habit of coming from behind after a poor start this season, but the roles were turned as a third defeat in four league games puts Antonio Conte’s men five points behind of the top four.

Spurs’ half-time lead was largely due to uncharacteristic City errors.

‘Irresponsible objective’

Ederson’s erroneous pass to Rodri put the Spanish midfielder in difficulties, and the ball eventually fell to Kulusevski, who scored his first goal since the season began.

Rodri was dispossessed inside his own box again moments later by a Harry Kane tackle, and after Ederson parried his attempt, Emerson headed in the rebound.

“We gifted them the first goal, and the second goal is outrageous,” Guardiola remarked.

Ederson’s poor pass to Rodri put the Spanish midfielder in difficulties, and the ball eventually fell to Kulusevski, who scored his first goal since the season began.

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Rodri was dispossessed inside his own box again moments later by a Harry Kane tackle, and after Ederson parried his attempt, Emerson headed in the rebound.

“We gifted them the first goal, and the second goal is outrageous,” Guardiola remarked.

Guardiola stuck to his guns at halftime rather than bringing on the cavalry from the bench, and it paid off as the champions turned the game around in just 18 minutes.

Alvarez began the comeback by keeping his calm in the face of a goalmouth scramble to find the roof of the net.

Within two minutes, Haaland had snapped his three-game goal drought by heading in Mahrez’s cross across the face of goal.

Tottenham could have taken the lead next, but Ivan Perisic’s shot from Kulusevski’s enticing cross deflected off Rico Lewis and onto the post.

Instead, City scored the game-winning goal, prompting new doubts about goalie Hugo Lloris.

The former French captain’s own goal gave Arsenal the perfect start in the north London derby at the weekend, and he was beaten again at his near post, despite the fact that Mahrez’s effort deflected off Ben Davies.

Mahrez subsequently increased his total since the World Cup break to six goals in seven games, just as he had anticipated  a slack touch from Clement Lenglet and this time left Lloris with no chance with a dinked finish over the advancing goalkeeper.  

“This type of game with more experience you never lose,” said Spurs manager Conte. “This is the first time in my career my team conceded so many goals (in one half).”

Manager Pep Guardiola criticizes his players a head of Arsenal title race game 

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