Pep Guardiola says Man City did not deserve to win after another late mistake

Pep Guardiola says Man City did not deserve to win after another late mistake

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola refused to blame his side's late lapse against Crystal Palace on bad luck and insisted his side did not deserve to win the match.

City dominated possession and looked to be cruising at 2-0 up following goals from Jack Grealish in the first half and Rico Lewis nine minutes into the second.

But Palace hit back with a 76th-minute Jean-Philippe Mateta goal before Michael Olise equalised in the fifth minute of stoppage time with a penalty awarded after Phil Foden caught Mateta in the box.

Dropping points for the fifth time in six Premier League matches, in their last outing before heading to Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup, leaves the champions in fourth place, three points behind leaders Liverpool, who host Manchester United on Sunday.

Boss Guardiola, whose side had drawn 4-4 with Chelsea, 1-1 with Liverpool and 3-3 with Tottenham and lost 1-0 to Aston Villa prior to last Sunday's 2-1 win at Luton, said: "It is not bad luck, it was deserved, we gave away two points.

"When you give this penalty, you deserve it. You see the chances we created, the chances we concede, it's quite similar, except the Chelsea game, all this season. But we are not able to close the game.

"There was a chance (for Palace) in the first half¦but until the (Mateta) goal, they didn't do anything.

"So the team was really, really good. But at the end, when you give Crystal Palace this penalty, you don't deserve it. It's like the penalty for Chelsea (Cole Palmer's late equaliser).

"The games against Spurs, Liverpool, today, were excellent, but we were not able to win the game. What has happened is because we are not consistent enough to close the games, and many reasons."

Guardiola denied City were not playing with the same intensity for the final 20 minutes, before adding: "18-yard box, you have to be careful, and we were not. We don't deserve to win."

Treble-winners City, who were once again without injured forward Erling Haaland, are now set to play Japanese outfit Urawa Red Diamonds in the Club World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday, with the final taking lace on Friday.

Guardiola said: "Six, seven-hour flight with the result, just three days to recover, three days for a potential final - it is what it is. Now we are down and we lift as quick as possible and go to compete there."

The draw was a considerable boost after six losses in eight games for Roy Hodgson's 15th-placed Palace, whose captain Joel Ward had to come off in the first half with a hamstring issue, adding to an already extensive list of unavailable players.

Hodgson said: "I was really pleased with the team from the first minute to the last.

"I thought the way the players stuck at a game plan and tried to make it work¦but it wasn't just a question of resilience, it was spirit as well and determination. If we had wanted excuses for defeat today, we had loads.

"It's all very well saying you have seven players injured, but when five are regular players in attacking positions, you have even more reason I think to say well done today boys. Excellent work from the players today, I can't praise them enough."

READ MORE: Late drama as injury-time penalty sees Crystal Palace snatch draw at Man City