Guardiola avoids comment which would make Pochettino ‘grumpy with me’ after latest defeat

Pep Guardiola paid tribute to record-breaker Harry Kane as he tried to rationalise another Manchester City defeat away at Tottenham in the Premier League.

Kane scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City failed to capitalise on Arsenal’s slip-up against Everton on Saturday.

The visitors have now lost three of their last eight Premier League matches but the gap to the Gunners remains five points, with Guardiola’s side having played a game more.

Kane’s goal was his 200th in the Premier League and 267th for Spurs in all competitions, taking him past Jimmy Greaves as the overall record holder.

“I’m not going to say the Harry Kane team otherwise Pochettino will be grumpy with me and I don’t want it,” he said, referencing comments he made and subsequently apologised for in October 2017.

“On behalf of Man City I can say congratulations on this incredible milestone. He’s an exceptional player.”

Guardiola went on to reflect on his poor record at Spurs, against whom they have not won away in the Premier League since a 1-0 victory at Wembley in October 2018.

“We started really well in the first 15 minutes until the goal we conceded,” he said. “After that we played a good first half, the second half was not as good. There were too many interruptions and we cannot control. We had our chances against a team that defend very well.

“They defend with nine players really well. The squad is fantastic. I think we always play really well against them but for whatever reason we cannot seem to win or score goals.

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“Sooner or later it is going to change, but it is strange we haven’t scored one goal, we have missed penalties in the past. To find an explanation is not easy.

“We started really well, they didn’t cross halfway, or just once and we concede a goal, like happened two weeks ago. A well organised team, physical, we can’t expect to create a lot of chances. When we lose balls in transitions it is more difficult.

“It was good, we created chances and it was difficult. Most of the time to come here, we are not able to win the game – it is not easy to play them and these type of games we have to try and do the situation. The intention is there.

“I have the feeling that it’s my job to find solutions, but we play well, quite decent against them. At the end it was open, and they were good in transitions.

“I have a lot of gratitude for these players. I knew it, we are not same after winning a lot but the way we try to go with the fight and fight to the end.

“We try until the end. We look at the next step, everything is nice and it doesn’t matter what happened in the past.

“Now we are sad and tomorrow we reflect and look at what happened in the game. Next, we have to think about Aston Villa – it will be tough.

“It’s a long, long season for us and all the teams but we try to continue.”

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