Chelsea became the first Premier League side to inflict a defeat on defending champions Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.
The unbeaten run was nice while it lasted. If Saturday’s defeat did anything positive it was probably putting an end to the ‘are City the new Invincibles?’ debate.
Of course it would have been nice, but in today’s Premier League it’s highly unlikely – there are just too many good teams.
Guardiola once again repeated the aim is to win the league.
“We are here to be champions, not Invincibles – I said this many times and I said the same last season,” he said.
As usual, City enjoyed most of the possession – especially in the first half – and Guardiola was full of praise for his players.
“We played outstanding in the first half. Apart from ten minutes in the second half, we were there until the end. I feel incredible emotion to see these players do what they do every three days.
Neither side had a recognised striker on the pitch – and while that looked to be an issue for Chelsea it certainly didn’t for City. Aguero has missed the past three matches, but with an abundance of attacking talent, City always looked threatening on the attack.
Asked if injuries to key players was a factor in the loss, he responded: “People don’t ask about Kevin or Sergio when we win, only when we lose.
“In general, we were fantastic. Sometimes we are upset because we lost, but we showed we wanted to win. Football is like this. You can always take lessons after winning or losing. In general, I am so glad with the way we played. We are only in December. Can Liverpool win the Premier League? Yes. Ask me if Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea can – yes, of course. Yesterday, we were the favourites and unbeaten, today we have lost”.
Whenever City have key players out through injury, people are quick to point it out as a reason for losing a game, but in reality they have such a strong team that it doesn’t really play a part.
Only a few seasons ago whenever they lost Vincent Kompany to injury, the defence always looked a little shaky. These days, however, his position can be filled by at least one other player.
The defeat was not the only thing that left a bad taste in the mouth. The spotlight was once again on the subject of racism in football with Raheem Sterling the target this time. The City striker took it in his stride and didn’t react but the fact remains neither Raheem Sterling nor any other football player should be subjected to such sickening abuse.
Football by its nature creates rivalries between opposing sets of fans and players alike and for the most part it is good humoured. It is just a shame when the minority feel the need to go too far like those Chelsea fans did on Saturday.
The week before it was Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was targeted by a Spurs fan who threw a banana skin at him. This debate is nothing new to football and Raheem Sterling came out on Sunday and said he felt the media actually fuels racism.
He used two of his younger team mates who have bought houses for their mothers, Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden, as prime examples of how the media portrays young white players and young black players.
“You have two young players starting out their careers – both play for the same team, both have done the right thing, which is buy a new house for their mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are,” Sterling said.
“But look at how the newspapers get their message across for the young black player and then for the young white player.
“I think this is unacceptable, both innocent, have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded, this young black kid is looked at in a bad light, which helps fuel racism and aggressive behaviour.”
There is still a long way to go before the 2018-19 champions are crowned – and the past few weeks have shown us there is still a long way to go in the fight to kick racism out of football.