Pep Guardiola conceded Manchester City failed to find their rhythm in Tuesday’s shock 2-1 loss to Newcastle United.
The reigning Premier League champions risked falling seven points behind leaders Liverpool, who will earn that cushion if they beat Leicester City on Wednesday.
Yet things had started brightly for City at St James’ Park, Sergio Aguero putting the visitors ahead after 24 seconds.
However, Newcastle produced a remarkable second-half turnaround courtesy of Salomon Rondon’s strike and a Matt Ritchie penalty to leave Guardiola frustrated.
FULL-TIME | Damn.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 29, 2019
“It wasn’t our best,” he told BT Sport. “We started with a goal but all the game we didn’t have the rhythm that we need to impose our game.
“That’s why when we play in that situation, the second balls, the long balls, we didn’t take it.
“Our game was slow, we didn’t commit, we didn’t find the players.
“It happens. They shoot the first time and it was a goal, the second time was a penalty. We had the chances.
“Congratulations to Newcastle for the victory.”
City and Aguero were denied a second goal after Kevin De Bruyne proved overeager to take a quick free-kick and received a yellow card.
But Guardiola did not hide behind that setback as an excuse and he acknowledged City’s title bid had become significantly harder.
“Things like that [the disallowed goal] can change the game, of course, but in general our game was not in the rhythm we need to play in a Premier League game.
“It’s more difficult [to win the league], but we have a chance to do it. We knew we had to win a lot of games.
“In football many things can happen but the most important thing is not about the table.
“I said many times to do our games, to do what we have to do and when it does not happen you can lose because football today is so competitive.
“In many, many details, it was not our best day.”
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