Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has insisted that it is too early to consider Liverpool league champions, following Saturday’s shock defeat to Norwich City.
The reigning Premier League champions were surprisingly beaten 3-2 at Carrow Road, as the injury-hit home side took advantage of City’s defensive weaknesses to record a famous win.
Kenny McLean headed the hosts in front from a corner, before Todd Cantwell doubled the lead.
It looked like the Etihad side would stage a comeback, as Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time.
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But Norwich did not grow complacent and got their third through inform and league’s August player of the month,Teemu Pukki, who scored his sixth goal of the season soon after the restart.
The Finn robbed Nicolas Otamendi of the ball on the edge of his own box to restore his side’s two-goal advantage.
Midfielder Rodri scored a late consolation, however, the defeat leaves City five points behind title rivals, Liverpool, who are yet to drop any point in this campaign.
Despite the setback, the Spaniard believes it would be premature to consider it pivotal in the chase for a third consecutive league title.
“Five points (behind Liverpool) is five points – but we are in September,” he said.
“What are we supposed to do? Say ‘it’s September and congratulations to Liverpool, you champions?’
“Not for one second am I going to doubt my players.”
The former Barcelona boss also refused to criticise his players despite the defensive errors.
“Nico (Otamendi) doesn’t know someone is coming and nobody tells him,” he said.
“Sometimes you know we make mistakes. I think sometimes we forget these guys are human.
“Football is quick, things can go wrong and I must see what I can do to help them.”
The win was Norwich’s second since their return to the top-flight.
It will surpass their win over Newcastle, given the quality of opposition, and the fact that manager, Daniel Farke, was forced to naming two goalkeepers on the bench due to the number of injuries in the team.
“It is definitely a proud night without a doubt,” he stated.
“To win against the best team in the world as Norwich City who are promoted and have no chance to spend money and an incredible amount of injuries, it was a win for our key people.”
Farke also called on Norwich supporters to enjoy the win, saying although his own celebrations would be limited.
“It is a night to remember without any doubt,” he added.
“I will be happy when I’m back on the sofa. I’m too old and too exhausted to celebrate and we have training in the morning.
“After that I will be on the sofa with coffee and maybe some cake. That is how I celebrate.”