Pep Guardiola says what was unexpected in Everton’s draw vs Man City amid referee claim

Man City boss Pep Guardiola. Picture: Eddie Keogh/Getty ImagesMan City boss Pep Guardiola. Picture: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images
Man City boss Pep Guardiola. Picture: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images | Getty Images
Pep Guardiola verdict from Manchester City’s 1-1 draw against Everton.

Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City's draw against Everton 'was not expected'.

The Toffees signed off the year with a dogged 1-1 draw away to the Premier League champions. Everton went into the game as huge underdogs. At kick-off, they sat just one point and two places above the relegation zone, while City were second in the table.

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Erling Haaland opened the scoring in the first half for Guardiola's men and it looked like the floodgates had opened.

But Frank Lampard's side showed resilience and Demarai Gray's superb second-half strike earned Everton a deserved point.

On the draw, City boss Guardiola said: “They made a fantastic goal with the shot on target they had.

“We played a really good game. The approach from Liverpool and Leeds is quite different to Everton, but we played a really good game.

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“I said they are going to play like Brentford with long balls and transitions. We weren’t well set, and Gray made a fantastic goal so congratulations to them.

“It’s difficult when they have nine men (behind the ball) but it’s our way to play. We had a chance in the last minute in the first half and second half.

“I cannot expect a million chances when they play that way. The result was not expected, but it’s football. We did everything to win. The referees break the rhythm, but in general we did everything.“They made a fantastic goal with the shot on target they had,” said Guardiola.

“We played a really good game. The approach from Liverpool and Leeds is quite different to Everton, but we played a really good game. I said they are going to play like Brentford with long balls and transitions. We weren’t well set, and Gray made a fantastic goal so congratulations to them.

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“It’s difficult when they have nine men (behind the ball) but it’s our way to play. We had a chance in the last minute in the first half and second half. I cannot expect a million chances when they play that way.

“The result was not expected, but it’s football. We did everything to win. The referees break the rhythm, but in general we did everything and unfortunately couldn't win."

City couldn't find any real momentum after Everton's equaliser. The Toffees were prudent and tried to slow the game down when they could.

On the Blues' tactics, Guardiola said: "A strategy for the opponent and if the referees don’t intervene, it’s a problem for refereeing, I cannot do anything. Of course we dropped two points and it will be tough to get top of the league but we played really well since we came back from the World Cup. It’s been one of our best periods. I feel the way we are playing is a top, top level. But we have to win and could not do it.

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"When I saw five at the back I said to the guys they are going to play like Brentford: long balls, set-pieces, long balls, set pieces. When they transitioned we were well set. And then Gray made a fantastic goal. We congratulate them but we had enough chances. Always it is difficult when we play against eight players with that physically, [Amadou] Onana, [Idrissa] Gueye, all the defenders, they start in the 18-yard box all the time.

"It’s difficult to play against. But our positioning was really good. Maybe we were a little bit [less of] a threat upfront but it’s not easy. We had a chance in the last minute of the first half, the last minute of the second half. The way we played was really good."

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