Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola turned on his players for lacking passion and said the club's supporters were "silent" in an extraordinary rant following the champions' 4-2 comeback victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.
City fell 2-0 behind by halftime at the Etihad Stadium, facing the prospect of suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time since 2018, but roared back in the second half with a Riyad Mahrez double helping them earn victory.
Despite a much-needed win that moved City five points behind leaders Arsenal in the Premier League standings, Guardiola was not happy. Passion, fire and desire to want to win (was missing) from the first minute, Guardiola said. Our fans were silent for 45 minutes. We are far away from the team that we were. There are many things that we are far away.
It is not one single player, everyone is there. It is everyone, as soon as we realise it, we will come back. Our fans must push us, must demand more, have to shout. Today we were lucky but nine times, 10 times you don't come back,report by biggest online sportsbooks.
I want a reaction for all the club, all the organisation, the players, the staff. We are a happy flowers team. I don't want to be a happy flowers, I want to beat Arsenal but if we play in that way Arsenal will destroy, they will beat us.
Guardiola was not done there as he also took aim at critics who say that his lack of a European trophy during his time at City means his overall record in England, where he has won four Premier League crowns, is not successful.
We have had a lot of success, he added. People say 'no, he is not successful, as he has not won the Champions League'. Bullshit. We won a lot. In this country, to win the league back-to-back titles, twice, with the way we played, with consistency, against this Liverpool side? What is success? I have won a lot. It means every day I see things that you don't see because you are not there. I see it.