Pep Guardiola says he will “never” give up on fighting for the Premier League title, despite Manchester City’s hopes taking another blow in Saturday’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne benefited from Hugo Lloris errors to put City in command, but Dele Alli and Son Heung-min pegged them back and snatched a point in a game that Guardiola’s side had dominated.
City remain fifth after the draw, nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea – who host Hull City on Sunday – having picked up just one win in their last four league games.
Guardiola lamented the gap to the Blues after last week’s 4-0 shellacking at Everton, but he says reports that he was looking beyond the end of the season are inaccurate.
Asked if he had given up on the title, Guardiola told a news conference: “I didn’t say that.
“My answer was they [the media] said we have been ruled out of fighting for the trophy.
“But I’m never going to give up… ever. It’s going to be difficult, of course, but I’m not worried about that now.”
PEP: They (media) said we have been ruled out of fighting for the trophy. I’m never going to give up. Never. #mcfc
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 21, 2017
Guardiola was glowing in praise for his side’s dominant performance, they would have been worthy winners in truth, and the debut of Gabriel Jesus was another positive for City to hold on to.
The Brazil striker emerged from the bench in the 82nd minute and almost provided Sane with a tap-in before seeing a goal of his own chalked off for offside.
Guardiola warned that Jesus will not be the answer to City’s attacking struggles and also moved attention to the performance of Sane, who scored just his second goal for the club.
“He has his talent,” Guardiola said of Jesus. “But alone he cannot do that [solve City’s scoring trouble] so we have to involve a lot.
“Over the season we have to score goals and we have to create the chances to score goals. We tried to create and when we created, we didn’t score and when that happens, it’s impossible to win the game.
“The crowd is always excited for the new players.
“I’m so happy for the performance of Leroy. He arrived as a young player, 19 or 20 years old, and everybody expects [performances].
“It’s not easy to come here and to play. He arrived injured, but for the last 10 days in the training sessions that guy looks different.
“I encourage him to keep going because he has special qualities for us and he made a good performance.
“To be able to look at him a little bit more, we will be more dangerous, I’m so happy for him.”
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