Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is still hopeful that the title race isn’t over yet after his side gave advantage to Liverpool as he said “there are a lot of games to go”.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool being last season’s runners-up behind City opened up an eight-point lead over Guardiola’s men on Saturday with a last-gasp win over Leicester City.
Nevertheless, City was unable to bridge that gap at Sunday’s Etihad Stadium with two late goals from Adama Traore giving Wolves a shock, but thoroughly deserved, three points.
The margin of victory could have been even greater if the side of Nuno Espirito Santo took advantage of a host of chances that City’s porous defense offered them in the first quarter.
Guardiola defended his players, however, and believes there is plenty of time left in the campaign for them to claw their way back into contention for a third consecutive Premier League triumph.
“Come on guys, there are a lot of games to go,” he told a media conference. “We lost to a good team, who were really organised, so strong in the air and so fast in the counter attack.
“I know these guys [his players]. Still they are incredibly involved and can do it. What happened, happened. Most of the teams who won [the Premier League] in the past, the year after, don’t win.
“Today, we were not at our usual level. The previous games were good, but the distance is big. I know that. Liverpool is not dropping points. But we are in October; there is still a lot of games and competitions title race isn’t over yet.”
The continued absence of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones meant Guardiola was once again forced into fielding Nicolas Otamendi and midfielder Fernandinho in central defence.
Wolves ‘ incisive counter-attacking maneuvers caught them out on a number of occasions, while Otamendi was guilty throughout the 90 minutes of a series of misplaced passes and errant challenges.
Guardiola defended the pair, though, and stated they were not helped by the carelessness of the players in front of them.
“They were quite good,” he said. “They suffered because we lost the position in front of them. No central defenders can defend the kind of balls we lose there. They were good.”