Pep Guardiola accepts he felt "guilty" after Manchester City were only able to draw against Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. It was only the second instance when Manchester City failed to score in their last 41 home matches. Post-match, the manager iterated that:
"When the game isn’t good I feel bad for them [fans]. At the end they come to see a show and want to enjoy it. That’s why I am in this business. So I feel a bit guilty because we didn’t play well."
Southampton were brilliant, and they could've potentially come away with all 3 points. The Saints had a potential penalty-call go against them and a Kyle Walker red card was taken away by a controversial VAR decision.
Manchester City amped up the pressure late on during the second half and themselves saw a VAR decision rule out a late winner. Phil Foden's header off the post was put in by Raheem Sterling, who was adjudged to have been off-side.
After City beat RB Leipzig 6-3 in a Champions League clash on Wednesday, Guardiola pleaded to supporters to turn up in force for the Saints' visit. A massive 52,698-strong crowd showed up and sang Guardiola's name from the stands. In a post-match interaction, Pep remained defiant about his demand for more support at the Etihad. The Manchester City boss stated:
"I said we played an incredibly tough game and it will be incredibly tough against Southampton. I never complained about how many supporters come or do not come. I have never done that in my life. Of course, I am grateful – even if 85 or 100 people come, that is fine.”
"As always for me it doesn’t matter. I don’t run up and down the touchline, I can’t move. What they [his players] have to do is play better and play better for the people who come here to stay with the team they love and make them happy."
"Please come on Tuesday against Wycombe, the Carabao Cup, please come to be with us.’" - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Kevin Parker, general secretary of Manchester City’s official fan club, asked Guardiola to stick to coaching. However, the Spaniard recapitulated his request and asked fans to turn up for a Carabao cup tie against Wycombe. Guardiola said:
"‘Guys come together to be with us for the next game.’ The same as I say now: ‘Please come on Tuesday against Wycombe, the Carabao Cup, please come to be with us.’'
“Listen, everyone has their own life, sometimes they can come, sometimes not, sometimes they don’t want to, but we have to do our job like we have in the last five or six years. Every time I will ask this. We had more than one year without them [due to the pandemic] and it was not the same, football without them is not the same. So thank you for coming.”
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After a frustrating goalless draw against the Saints, Manchester City will host their first Carabao cup tie this season against Wycombe on Wednesday (September 22).