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Pep Guardiola blows his top as the Manchester City manager finally lets his mask slip after defeat by Liverpool

Sports News 2nd January 2017

Spread Sauberfuss Gebrüder
  • Manchester City lost 1-0 at Liverpool after a meek display on New Year’s Eve
  • The loss leaves Pep Guardiola’s side fifth, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea
  • In the post match interviews, Guardiola was his usual calm and collected self
  • But he was later seen engaging in an animated discussion with Txiki Begiristain

There was a warm embrace between Guardiola and Klopp when they met on the touchline

He had been the same at half-time, raging that his plan was not being executed, after Georginio Wijnaldum had given Liverpool a lead that they never relinquished.

In front of the cameras, it was business as usual. Pep Guardiola rattled out a succession of non-committal answers, searched for the positives and kept his game face on.

This was a damaging defeat which, after Tottenham and Arsenal won on Sunday, saw Manchester City drop out of the top four.

But Guardiola would not allow anyone to see how much Saturday’s loss to Liverpool had hurt. He conceded that his team had been below par but that was about it.

Away from the microphones, though, the mask slipped. An hour after the final whistle, standing outside City’s dressing room there was a revealing insight into Guardiola’s state of mind as he engaged in a deep conversation with Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football.

He paced back and forth and loosened his tie. He gesticulated and drove his fist into his hand. His arms were outstretched and his eyes blazed as he tried to fathom why City were so meek.

As Guardiola ran his hand over his head, exasperation seeping out of him, Begiristain could only listen.

By the time he marched towards the team bus, Guardiola had gathered his poise but this animated snapshot was no isolated incident.

‘The manager was angry at half-time,’ Yaya Toure revealed. ‘When you are losing and Liverpool are the better side — and when you are losing like that — then it’s not going to be happy at half-time. It was disappointing and we all felt that.

‘Of course he is going to be angry. He is a manager who can be angry. We have to sometimes improve and react to situations. We knew Liverpool would be waiting when we lost the ball and they did that to score. So he was angry for everything that was happening.

‘We are not going to be perfect. There are times when we won’t take opportunities but we can take opportunities from this too. Anfield is not easy, but we can learn from this and what the manager says.’

Toure kept his counsel about what Guardiola said to his squad in the aftermath but you can be sure there were no platitudes.

Kevin De Bruyne, for example, was anonymous, David Silva was invisible. Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho, meanwhile, looked like men returning from four-match bans.

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