Pep Guardiola does not believe that Kevin De Bruyne would have made a difference in Manchester City’s 2-0 loss at Tottenham on Sunday.
City lost for the first time under Guardiola as an Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and Dele Alli’s cool strike helped Spurs to a deserved three points at White Hart Lane.
De Bruyne missed the midweek 3-3 Champions League draw with Celtic and the Spurs defeat due to a hamstring injury, having started the season in impressive form.
But Guardiola refuted suggestions that the Belgium star solely holds the key to victory for City.
“Of course Kevin is a fantastic player. [But] the way the play was, he wouldn’t have changed too much,” the Catalan told a post-match news conference.
“Kevin doesn’t win alone. We need to win all together. Tottenham didn’t win because of one player. They played better. In some aspects we weren’t in control. That’s all. It wasn’t one aspect.
“From the beginning I didn’t feel we could adapt, we couldn’t make the build-up play the way we wanted. Every time we attacked behind his high pressing, we caused problems, situations.
“But we had problems too. We put long balls, they won the second ball. We had to go backwards. It was a bit difficult to control.
“They always won the second ball, and the first reaction is to say we didn’t run. It’s not that. It’s not about not trying. When you are not in the right position when you attack or when you defend, this kind of thing can happen.”
Tottenham, who are now the league’s only unbeaten side, are just one point adrift of City following the victory.
And Guardiola says Mauricio Pochettino’s men must be considered as title contenders.
He added: “They were last season. Why not? Of course, here in the Premier League, there are many teams that can achieve that and Tottenham is one.”
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