Pep Guardiola hailed the adversity Manchester City endured at Newcastle as they attempted to defend their Premier League crown.
The champions were 3-1 down at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon before fighting their way to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling encounter with Eddie Howe’s men.
Reflecting on a vibrant afternoon in Tyneside, Guardiola said: “Why not give credit to the Newcastle team? Brentford beat (Manchester) United 4-0 and everyone is talking about how bad United and Brentford are doing? You did something good, right?
“If you take these types of players with this quality, that can happen. It’s the start of the season and I think it’s really, really good for us to have that kind of experience.
“We talked at half-time, ‘We have to live with it, 1-2 down, we’ll see what happens now, how we do as a team, let’s get started.’
“We have to do that in order to live in such situations. That’s why the Premier League is so difficult. Everyone’s going to drop points and we lost the first two but considering how we performed from 2-1 down…”
City took the lead through Ilkay Gundogan in the fifth minute but fell behind at the break after Miguel Almiron and then Callum Wilson scored in front of England boss Gareth Southgate.
Kieran Trippier extended the home side’s lead with a lovely free-kick but goals from Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva, signed from City in the summer for £51m, ensured the visitors appreciated their efforts.
Asked if he feared the game would end 3-1, Guardiola recalled last season’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa which saw City trail 2-0 with 14 minutes to go.
He said: “After what happened against Aston Villa – we scored three goals in five minutes – I can count on everything, so no problem.”
Newcastle were grateful for a reprieve of sorts when Trippier was initially sent off by referee Jarred Gillett for a cynical 73-minute challenge against Kevin De Bruyne, which he later reduced to a yellow card after reviewing the incident.
Guardiola, who admitted he hadn’t seen the duel, said: “I think the foul was obvious, but I don’t know if it’s a red card or a yellow card.”
Opposite number Howe was delighted with his side’s performance, albeit ultimately disappointed with the result.
He said: “If you’re leading 3-1 in a game, you expect to win. I could sit here and say that neither side of me is disappointed – I think I’d be lying.
“But I would much rather focus on the positive things of today, not the negative ones, and I thought the positives far outweighed that.”
When asked how far his team is from regularly competing with the likes of City, Howe added: “Even with today’s result, I want to make it clear that we still have a long way to go, a long journey ahead of us in relating to growth and trying to improve things.
“But the big positive to take away today is how the players attack that. They give everything and that’s all I can ask from the group we have.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league-pep-guardiola-manchester-city-kieran-trippier-aston-villa-b2149659.html We have to live this – Pep Guardiola enjoys the fight as a Newcastle city rally