Pep feared City were too casual

Lamine Kone surges forward for Sunderland against Manchester City. Picture by Frank Reid
Lamine Kone surges forward for Sunderland against Manchester City. Picture by Frank Reid
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was pleased with victory at Sunderland yesterday.

But he feared that his star-studded side took their foot off the pedal after going 2-0 up with Leroy Sane’s second-half strike.

Goals from Sergio Aguero and Sane took City back up to third place in the table, while the Black Cats remained rooted to the foot of the table.

“We are so happy, we played good,” Guardiola said. “It was tough in the first few minutes, we expected them to be aggressive in terms of intensity and play. We scored a very good first goal to go in at half-time with a 1-0 lead which was completely different to draw or losing.

“In the second half, we played really good, but in the last 30 minutes, we didn’t play to score a goal.

“We played for control, which is good, but the last five or ten minutes, I don’t like to defend a result and be in our box.

“It can become impossible to defend because they are so dangerous from set pieces or long balls into the box. The best way to defend a result is passing the ball.

“You can do that with 3-0 or in the last five or ten minutes, but not in the last 30 minutes. That is what happened in the second half after the second goal.

“With 3-0, it’s another issue. With 4-0, it’s another issue. With 2-0, it’s too risky and if they score a goal, it doesn’t matter how many minutes are left because anything can happen so that is something we need to handle better.”