WOLVERHAMPTON, December 28: Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City’s faint hopes of retaining the Premier League title were in tatters as they blew a two-goal lead and had Ederson sent in a dramatic 3-2 defeat at Wolves on Friday.
Guardiola’s side recovered from Ederson’s 12th-minute dismissal to take control thanks to Raheem Sterling’s double either side of half-time.
But City’s fatigued stars were unable to go the distance as Adama Traore’s goal started a thrilling Wolves fightback.
Raul Jimenez equalised with eight minutes to go and Matt Doherty hit the winner to send Molineux wild in the 89th minute.
“Always the goals can be avoided but sometimes it’s tiredness. It’s a lot of minutes to defend with 10 men,” Guardiola said.
“No regrets, they did absolutely everything to defend a result for 80 minutes but it was difficult.”
Third placed City trail runaway leaders Liverpool by 14 points and, Jurgen Klopp’s red-hot team have a game in hand, making it hard to imagine the champions getting their hands on the trophy for a third successive season.
“It is a big gap for a long time. It’s not a race if you think about it,” Guardiola said.
“I have been asked the question for a long time and it is the same answer. It’s not realistic to think about the title race.
“We have to think of the next game and about winning our games.”
Wolves, flying high in fifth place, have contributed to City’s downfall more than most and, after winning 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in October, they celebrated a top-flight double over the Manchester club for the first time since 1960-61.
The only blemish for Wolves were the missiles thrown from the stands when City celebrated their second goal, an incident that prompted the Football Association to launch an investigation.
Referee Martin Atkinson was seen passing a metal hip flask to the fourth official as an announcement over the tannoy warned “numerous instances of objects being thrown have been seen. CCTV will be used to prosecute offenders”. (AFP)