Pep Guardiola congratulated Norwich City after they inflicted one of the biggest shock results in Premier League history on champions Manchester City.
Norwich were without 11 players due to injury and head coach Daniel Farke had to include two goalkeepers as substitutes in order to fill his bench, but they pulled off a stunning 3-2 home win.
The Canaries led 2-0 thanks to goals from Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell and held their nerve despite Sergio Aguero halving the deficit before half-time.
Nicolas Otamendi’s error led to Teemu Pukki making it 3-1 and although Rodri’s late strike set up a nervous finale, the promoted outfit were able to hold on for a famous victory.
City’s first loss in the Premier League since January leaves them five points behind Liverpool, who have won all five of their games in the 2019-20 campaign, as Guardiola’s men seek a third consecutive title.
“Sometimes games like this happen – we had our chances to score but didn’t, so congratulations to Norwich,” Guardiola said. “It is football – we had many opportunities today, they had three or four and scored three goals.
“The first one was a set-piece we didn’t defend, the second we were caught on the counter-attack and the third came from a mistake, but we know what we are as a team, we know what we have done and we know what we are going to do.
“I love my players and it’s a pleasure to be with them. They didn’t create so many chances, but they got three goals – we played Bournemouth and they had more chances than Norwich did today, but we won that game – football can sometimes do this.”
Not our day
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 14, 2019
Guardiola sprang a surprise by starting with Kevin De Bruyne on the bench and while he introduced the Belgium star in the second half, along with Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez, City could not find an equaliser.
“Even at 2-0, we knew we were still in it because we can create a lot of chances in a short space of time,” Guardiola added.
“But the third goal hurt us because we had started [the second half] well and we were there, but in the end it didn’t happen. In football you can’t always avoid mistakes.
“They are a really good team with good players who have quality, we saw that in the Championship last year, they were clinical today.
“We did not have urgency in the final third that we normally have. Even at 3-2 we had chances to make it 3-3 – this team never gives up and that’s why we have done what we have done.”