Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists he is “happier than ever” with a start to the season that leaves his team 10th in the Premier League after seven matches.
Gabriel Jesus cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s early penalty to claim a 1-1 draw against champions Liverpool in a compelling Etihad Stadium encounter on Sunday.
Kevin De Bruyne dragged his own spot kick wide, meaning City had to be content with a share of the spoils domestically for a third time this season, giving them a haul of 12 points from a possible 24.
However, Guardiola seems keen to look at the bigger picture of a three wins out of three in the Champions League, progress to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup and a solitary, if chastening 5-2 defeat to table-topping Leicester City back on September.
Asked whether he was happy at a post-match news conference, Guardiola replied: “A lot. Maybe more happier than ever.
“In 12 games we lost one in all competitions because [against Leicester] we conceded three penalties.
“Still we didn’t learn. Hopefully it is the last time we give the opponents a penalty like this.
“But [I am happy] a lot. I see the situation every day with the players in the locker room, that’s why.
“Hopefully the international players come back safe with no injuries and we can continue.”
— Gabriel Jesus (@gabrieljesus9) November 8, 2020
City’s attack has fallen way short of their usually prolific standards so far this term, with injuries to strikers Sergio Aguero and Jesus a key factor.
However, the Brazil international now has three goals in as many outings this term, with his wonderfully taken equaliser following an emphatic strike in the 3-0 midweek win over Olympiacos.
“He was really good,” Guardiola said. “I didn’t expect he could sustain 90 minutes but he did it.
His physicality and rhythm is so strong.
“He helped us, he scored a fantastic goal – the goal of a striker. Good for him.”
City return to Premier League action after the international break with a trip to Tottenham, who are five points better off than them in second having played a game more.