Ilkay Gundogan admitted he and his City colleagues were left feeling ‘disappointed and frustrated’ after Wolves secured a 2-0 Premier League victory at the Etihad.
It is only eight matches into the Premier League season but Manchester City already has a real fight on its hands to retain the title.
The reigning champions slipped eight points behind leaders Liverpool after a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves yesterday. Considering Liverpool only lost one match last season, catching it will be a big challenge.
An off-colour City went down to two late Adama Traore counter-attack goals as Wolves became the first Premier League side to win at the Etihad in 10 months.
But the Catalan says his team have recovered difficult situations before and can do it again.
“Of course, it was a bad day,” said Pep. “That sometimes happens. We started quite well and then we conceded two situations with two loose balls in our build up.
“We got a little bit nervous. In the second half we controlled the game better. At the end we were attacking, and they had Cutrone and Jimenez and they were clinical.
“When you talk about the game and the way we played it was not good. It was not a good day.”
Manchester City “have definitely dropped too many points” this season, says Manchester city midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
The defending champions are second in the Premier League and on 16 points, eight behind Liverpool, who have won all of their eight games.
City have lost twice – 3-2 at Norwich and 2-0 at home to Wolves on Sunday – and drew 2-2 with Tottenham.
“We need to fix our situation and drop as few points as possible,” said 28-year-old Gundogan.
The City boss also admitted his team have plenty of hard work ahead, with title rivals Liverpool eight points ahead just eight games in.
“It’s a lot of points,” he said. “They’ve not dropped points. Today is the game we created less. We face many teams defending in deep systems. More or less we have found a way to do it, but today we had a problem.
“There’s a lot of games to go. We lost to a good team. They’re physical and strong in the air and fast on the counter-attack and that’s why.
“We have to improve. Maybe we weren’t solid in our build up. When we are, we concede few chances.”
Pep also revealed Kyle Walker had been struggling in the build up to the game, adding: “I made a change because Kyle Walker could not continue. In the first half all the dangerous situations we created were from Joao.
“Kyle had an infection in his stomach in the last few weeks. He didn’t train and lost weight.
“He made an incredible effort today because we needed fast players. At half time he said he didn’t feel good, that’s why we made a substitution.”
Asked if City still have what it takes to challenge for the title, the boss said: “I know these guys, they can still do it. It was a bad day, a bad game.
“Credit to the opponent. What’s happened has happened. Most teams that have won in the past don’t win the year after. Of course, we want to be close.
“Today was the day we were not on our level. The previous games were good. The distance is big, Liverpool have not dropped points.
“Now is the time to come back. The results will dictate the situation, but we are in October and there’s a long way to go.”
Two seasons ago City reached a Premier League record 100 points and retained their title with 98 points – one ahead of Liverpool – last season.
At this point of 2018-19, City were unbeaten and top with 20 points from eight games, ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool on goal difference.
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