Pep Guardiola has mastered the art of keeping his emotions under control. The Spaniard both as a player and a manager has taken part in some of the biggest soccer matches. He has triumphed in a jubilant fashion and also tasted defeat in very bitter ways. Pep has accepted all kinds of results positively, except in the draw with Tottenham Hotspur on matchday 14 of the 2023/24 Premier League season.
🔵 Guardiola on his reaction: “I don’t want to criticise the referees…”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 3, 2023
On December 3, 2023, the defending Premier League champions Manchester City hoisted Spurs at the Etihad. The stakes were high in this game as the City looked to close the game on the top of the table. While Tottenham looked to end their three-game losing streak.
The game was highly entertaining and both teams gave their all on a cold Sunday night. Tottenham took the lead through a well-placed finish by Son Hueng Min in the 6th minute of the game. Son scored the second goal of his night, but this time the goal ended up in his net. Phil Foden and Giovani Lo Celso scored the second goal for City and Tottenham, respectively.
137 – There were 137 seconds between Son Heung-min putting Spurs 1-0 up and then scoring an own goal. He is only the second player in Premier League history to score a goal and own goal in the opening 10 minutes of a game, after Gareth Barry for Aston Villa v Charlton in May… pic.twitter.com/uPGqYYvXVu
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 3, 2023
The match got even more exciting in the 80th minute when Jack Grealish netted the third goal for the Cityzens. Manchester City looked comfortable enough for a win, as time was running out for Spurs. But some of the most bizarre moments in the game were waiting to amuse the fans.
In the 90th minute, Dejan Kulusevski leaped over Nathan Ake to guide the cross sent by Brenan Johnson. The stadium went wild, as Tottenham had done the unthinkable. The fighting spirit of the team from North London was one to watch out for.
Dejan Kulusevski is the first player to score and assist in multiple Premier League games against Man City at the Etihad since Pep Guardiola took charge:
◉ 2022: ⚽🅰️
◉ 2023: ⚽🅰️
He assisted a 95th minute winner one year and scored a 90th minute equaliser the next. 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/ahqXaq2jJw
— Squawka (@Squawka) December 3, 2023
The most controversial moment came in the 5th minute of the added time when Spurs defender Emerson came off his line to tackle Erling Haaland. Yet, Haaland somehow got up on his feet to give a wonderful pass to Grealish, who was through on goal. Surprisingly, the referee instead of playing an advantage in the favor of City, stopped the game to book Emerson.
On the touchline, a completely shaken Pep fell to the ground. When asked about his reaction, Pep Guardiola had this to offer, “I don’t want to criticize the referees…”. “Sometimes on the touchline, I lose my mind, but here I don’t like to comment. We didn’t draw because of that”. It was really hard for Pep to accept the draw, as they have drawn their last three games while leading for the second time since 2009.
Manchester City has a strange record against Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City has thwarted challenges from every top PL team to become the giants of the competition. But, Pep has not been able to figure out the riddle of Tottenham, just yet. Manchester City have lost 5 out of the last 7 games against Tottenham in the competition.
Spurs at the Etihad.
Box office 🍿
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 3, 2023
Since, joining in 2016, Pep Guardiola has lost more games in the Premier League than any other team. Spurs are also level with Liverpool(19) to score the most number of goals in the Pep era.