Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reviews the Tottenham defeat
Pep Guardiola has bemoaned the length of time it took his Manchester City team to travel down to London after losing 1-0 to Tottenham on Sunday. The Catalan complained that it is "so exhausting" when making the trip to the capital to face London teams and compared the experience to travelling to northern Europe.
Guardiola watched on in frustration as his side saw their title hopes dented in north London, with Harry Kane scoring the winning goal to become Tottenham's all-time leading goalscorer with 267 goals. The result leaves City five points behind leaders Arsenal, who suffered a shock defeat to Everton on Saturday.
But the 52-year-old - who also made some bizarre references to Mauricio Pochettino and Harry Kane in his press conference and post-match interview - was visibly irritated after addressing the length of time it took to travel to north London.
"Coming to London is like going to, I don’t know, northern Europe. It is four hours 20 minutes, four hours and a half to get to a hotel," Guardiola said. "It’s so exhausting to come to London, I’m sorry. We need to come back to Manchester and prepare the game against Aston Villa."
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Pep Guardiola: The Man City coach bemoaned the time it took to travel to London
Is Pep Guardiola right to complain?
After hearing Guardiola's complaints, Express Sport decided to work out how long it would take Guardiola to jet off to northern Europe.
The 201-mile journey from Manchester to London can take around three hours by train or slightly longer if going by road, while a trip to northern European nations such as Iceland, Sweden and other parts of Scandanavia is nearly five times as long.
It is estimated that the flight duration would be two hours and 25 minutes to fly to the Swedish capital of Stockholm, not factoring in the time it takes to go through baggage collection and passport control. In which case, it may still be quicker to travel from Manchester to London.
In recent years, London teams such as Arsenal and Chelsea have gone by plane when playing teams further north to cut journey times, while the more eco-alert Manchester clubs have elected to travel by train.
However, with traffic on the motorways rife and consistently-reported train delays on the Avanti West Coasts services, Guardiola may need to revisit his team's travel plans in the future.
Guardiola then put up a fierce defence of his team's record in the Premier League when it was put to him that City had not scored in any of their five visits to Spurs' £1billion arena since White Hart Lane was knocked down, reminding fans that City had dominated the Premier League in the same time period.
"We are an attractive team. Our teams are always good, we try to go forward and be generous for our fans," he added. "Sometimes it doesn’t work, but I cannot complain much. When you win four Premier Leagues in five years we cannot complain much about what we have done and the way we have done it.
"Sooner or later it [the record away to Spurs] 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."
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Guardiola was noticeably tetchy as he fielded questions about his team's inability to score or find Erling Haaland, and refused to condemn the overall performance from his side. Instead, he singled out the referee for failing to deal with fouls on players such as Jack Grealish, despite the fact Spurs defender Cristian Romero was sent off for two bookable offences.
"How many years have I been doing this [his interviews]? How many times has the referee been here?" Guardiola said, when pressed by BBC Match of the Day to address fouls on his players.
"We started really well, as usually happens against Tottenham home and away, but after we made a mistake they punished us," he also told Sky Sports "[At] 1-0 down it is different, we had chances, and of course when we lose balls in transition with Kulusevski and Son, it is not easy. We dropped three points.
When asked if his players followed his instructions, he replied: "Most of the time, yeah. But it is not easy when 10 players defend, and sit back a little bit more than in the Etihad two weeks ago. We played good, started well and missed maybe the last pass, to shoot."