Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola bemoaned his side’s wastefulness in front of goal as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
The champions looked set to return to the Premier League summit thanks to Bernardo Silva’s wonderful first-half strike after being usurped by Arsenal earlier on Saturday.
Chris Wood popped up late on, though, to deny them all three points as Forest avoided defeat against the reigning champions for the first time since December 1994, when they beat Manchester United.
City squandered a host of glorious opportunities to extend their lead before Wood’s intervention, with Erling Haaland guilty of one particularly glaring miss, and Guardiola was disappointed with his side’s profligacy.
“Congratulations to Nottingham for the point that they got,” the City boss said.
“It was a brilliant performance, we played really good but we didn’t score. We have to score and we didn’t do it and that’s why we dropped points.
“For the goal we could defend better, more energy but the way we played was brilliant.
“In the first half, it should be already be two- or three-zero, we conceded one shot on target and we dropped points.
“It’s sad and disappointing but the way we played was really good.”
The boss reacts
1-1 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/Y55SvJsRfH
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 18, 2023
The result meant City have failed to beat a promoted side in the Premier League for the first time since April 2021 when they lost against Leeds United – they had won nine such games in a row before the draw with Forest.
City defender Kyle Walker was less diplomatic than his manager, stating that City’s failure to take all three points back to Manchester was “unacceptable”.
“First and foremost, we go to the Emirates [where they beat Arsenal in midweek] and play the game we did and then come here, it [the performance] is unacceptable,” he said.
“If we want to compete with teams near the top, we need to win. We missed a few chances and we need to do better as a team.
“Sometimes it’s football and sometimes it’s emotion. Every game should be treated the same, like a cup final. What can I say other than it is unacceptable. We have to stick together as a group.
“The senior members of the team need to put our thoughts across. That is just not acceptable. We have to give credit to Nottingham Forest. They dug in and hung on. We have to do better.”
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