EPL

Jamie Vardy's hat-trick and Merseyside misery - Man City's most shocking Premier League losses under Guardiola

By Sports Desk September 14, 2019

Manchester City fans experienced that rare feeling of Premier League defeat under Pep Guardiola as Norwich City overcame the odds in sensational style at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Many were suggesting the heavily depleted Canaries' best hope was to avoid a cricket scoreline against the defending champions.

But a clinical performance, coupled with some questionable Man City defending, saw Daniel Farke's side secure a memorable 3-2 victory, with Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and the in-form Teemu Pukki on the scoresheet for the hosts.

The loss marked an end to a 25-match unbeaten streak against promoted sides for Man City, while Norwich had lost 11 of their previous 12 encounters against the team defending the Premier League title – their last such victory coming against the same opponents in May 2013.

It was an unlucky 13th Premier League defeat for Man City since Guardiola took over ahead of the 2016-17 campaign and their first since January.

We look at their most surprising top-flight reverses under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach.

Leicester City 4-2 Man City (10/12/2016)

It is easy to forget Guardiola's maiden campaign at the Etihad Stadium was not all sunshine and roses. A week on from a 3-1 home reverse to Chelsea, City were turned over by a Jamie Vardy inspired Leicester. The Foxes were three to the good inside 20 minutes as Vardy scored twice either side of an Andy King effort, with the ex-England striker completing his hat-trick in the 78th minute. Late goals from Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito did little to ease the disappointment.

Everton 4-0 Man City (15/01/2017) 

Just a month later, Guardiola was left accepting his side's chances of defending the title were over after a shambolic performance at a rampant Everton. Romelu Lukaku and Belgium team-mate Kevin Mirallas assisted each other to put the Toffees 2-0 up by the 47th minute and late goals from Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman compounded the visitors' Merseyside misery.

Man City 2-3 Crystal Palace (22/12/18)

A 2-0 loss at Chelsea a couple of weeks previous had put paid to City's chances on going unbeaten in the Premier League, but this was an altogether more shocking defeat. Ilkay Gundogan's 27th-minute opener suggested a routine win was on the cards but two goals in as many minutes from Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend – the latter an unbelievable 30-yard volley – put Palace ahead at the break. Luka Milivojevic's penalty cemented the lead and not even Kevin De Bruyne's late strike could salvage a point for City. Eagles boss Roy Hodgson would describe the result as "one of those bonanza days".

Leicester City 2-1 Man City (26/12/18)

Four days later, an unhappy festive season was completed with another defeat thanks to familiar Foxes foes. Marc Albrighton cancelled out Bernardo Silva's 14th-minute strike and a late stunner from Ricardo Pereira gave Leicester a late Christmas present. Fabian Delph received the one card he would not want to get in December when he saw red for a late tackle on Pereira in the closing stages.

Newcastle United 2-1 Man City (29/01/2019)

Sergio Aguero, as he always seems to, scored against the Magpies with a first-minute goal and he saw a second soon chalked off for offside. However, a couple of defensive errors enabled Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie to score – the second netting from the spot – and City slipped to defeat at St James' Park.

Norwich City 3-2 Man City (14/09/2019)

Norwich and boss Daniel Farke drew plenty of smiles for the light-hearted way they dealt with a grim-looking injury list prior to a visit from the champions. Pre-match odds of 22-1 underlined the task the home side were facing, but McLean took advantage of City's slack defending at a corner to head Norwich into an 18th-minute lead. More sloppy work at the back led to Pukki brilliantly teeing up Cantwell to double the lead, before Aguero nodded home before the break to bring the champions back into the game. Comical work from Nicolas Otamendi led to Emiliano Buendia teeing up Pukki for Norwich's third. Rodri's drilled strike late on set up a nervy finish, but Norwich held on for the win.

Related items

  • Guardiola concerned over player welfare following festive fixture changes Guardiola concerned over player welfare following festive fixture changes

    Pep Guardiola admitted "the broadcasters are the bosses" in response to Manchester City's rearranged festive fixture list - but again called for players to receive greater protection amid punishing schedules.

    City were initially set to travel to Wolves on Boxing Day but that game has been pushed back by 24 hours for live coverage, with the Sheffield United home game moved to December 29.

    Still, they have less than 48 hours of rest between those two fixtures - with the reigning Premier League champions then starting 2020 by hosting Everton on January 1.

    While a fan of playing during the Christmas period, a custom that he has become used to since moving to England, Guardiola fears the desire to squeeze in so many matches is a major concern.

    He used the example of Neymar - who suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Brazil in a friendly against Nigeria last week, ruling him out for up to four weeks - as an example of the risks of playing too often.

    Asked for his thoughts about City's fixture changes announced this week, Guardiola told the media: "It is what it is. Since I came here, every season it happened the same.

    "The broadcasters are the bosses in this situation. I love to play Boxing Day and winter time when everybody stops, when families and kids go the stadiums and enjoy the games. I like it.

    "The problem is the same. So now Neymar is injured again, but they travel for friendly games in Nigeria or Abu Dhabi, or wherever far away, then come back.

    "We don't protect the players – the system doesn't protect them. It's too much. Honestly, it's too much."

    Guardiola was speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace - a game that could see both Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones return from injury.

    While stopping short of confirming the duo will be available to feature at Selhurst Park, the City boss was upbeat over their outlook.

    "Some of them are better. Kevin is back and John trained in the last two days and is good," he said. "[Benjamin] Mendy as well, maybe later, but as well."

    Sergio Aguero was involved in a minor car crash in midweek, but Guardiola had positive news on the striker's status: "He is fine. The car is not fine."

  • No laughing matter for Lampard as Kante set to miss Newcastle clash No laughing matter for Lampard as Kante set to miss Newcastle clash

    N'Golo Kante will miss Chelsea's Premier League clash with Newcastle United, with Frank Lampard expressing frustration he did not come back from international duty with France earlier.

    Kante sustained a groin injury in the warm-up for France's Euro 2020 qualifying clash with Iceland and did not return to Chelsea until after Les Bleus' game with Turkey on Monday.

    France coach Didier Deschamps had joked ahead of the qualifiers that Lampard could consider playing striker Olivier Giroud more often, having revealed the Chelsea boss had spoken to him about not selecting Kante.

    However, while Lampard was able to see the funny side of that comment, he was far from amused with the way the world champions handled the situation around Kante's injury.

    "Before the international break, Didier Deschamps mentioned in jest a little bit about Giroud and that was light-hearted and I get it. We all have our selection problems, he had his in the two games," Lampard told a news conference.

    "But the Kante one was not a laughing matter because we communicated before the last international break, because he was injured he couldn't go.

    "Let's think of what benefits [there are] to play, he didn't go, we both agreed on that. That's how things should work.

    "After the first game when he pulled out, he then had a fitness test the day before the second game, it was clear he couldn't play. He then sat on the bench the evening of the game, so that's not communication.

    "I understand that when a player is on international duty that they are their players, but it was clear that he wasn't fit."

    While Kante will be reduced to the role of spectator for the visit of the Magpies, Lampard may be able to call on Mateo Kovacic in the midfield, though Andreas Christensen (hamstring) and Antonio Rudiger (groin) are out.

    "Kovacic had a knock on his thigh but has trained the last couple of days so he's in contention," said Lampard.

    "Andreas Christensen has got a hamstring injury which will see him out for the next two weeks.

    "Rudiger is training outside with the physios, which is a progression for him. He had a tough injury with some stop-start [features], which has been unfortunate for everybody.

    "But he's outside, it's positive - a bit of work to be done for him for match fitness but it's really positive for us that he's outside."

  • He doesn't need it! - Klopp laughs off question about giving Solskjaer advice He doesn't need it! - Klopp laughs off question about giving Solskjaer advice

    Jurgen Klopp laughed off a question about advice he would have for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, insisting the embattled Manchester United manger does not need any despite their historically bad start to the new campaign.

    Klopp's league-leading Liverpool visit Old Trafford on Sunday with United off to their worst ever Premier League start, having taken just nine points from eight games.

    United are 15 points behind Liverpool in 12th, with their woeful form leading to great scrutiny on club icon Solskjaer in his first full season in charge.

    Speaking at a media conference ahead of this weekend's clash, Klopp was asked by a Norwegian journalist if he had any advice for his counterpart, eliciting a loud laugh from the former Borussia Dortmund boss.

    "He doesn't need it. He is in that club altogether now for 10-15 years. He was there as a player, he knows everything there," Klopp said.

    "He made his experience as a manager in football. I know people think sometimes that a manager has to manage Real Madrid before you can take over Barcelona. That's not the truth. He knows, it just has to work out.

    "That's how it is for all of us. That's why so many managers get the sack, if some people internally lose patience, then we have to go.

    "From my point of view, it looks like he's settled there, they all knew it would be a difficult job to do. Nobody loses against you because you are Liverpool or because you are Manchester United, it's about the things you do on the pitch.

    "On the other side they are all on their toes, really motivated when you come there and have a big name and that's part of the challenge we all face.

    "I don't think you have to worry about Ole, he is in a good position and has the chance to win a game. We want to make sure that will not happen."

    Solskjaer's record through 29 Premier League games in charge of United is actually superior to Klopp's was after the same number of matches at the helm at Anfield.

    Asked to compare Solskjaer's situation to the one he faced at that point in his Liverpool career, Klopp said: "I have no clue about his situation really, because it's not important what you are writing, it's more important what the board is telling him, Ed Woodward is telling him, what the Glazer family is telling him. I have no clue.

    "I want every manager in the world to have as much time as he can get too bring through his ideas but you never can compare situations, our situation when I came in, their situation now.

    "Man United is a massive club, it's a massive club and nobody is really ready to wait for success, it was in my case no different.

    "If you would have asked after these first 29 games, all the people here in the room, I don't think there was 100 per cent agreement that I'm the perfect manager for Liverpool. If there was any doubt internally that would be bad, as long as it's only externally, that's not a problem really."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.