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EPL: Pep Guardiola rues dropped points

The hosts camped in West Brom’s half throughout most of the second period but the latter showed tremendous determination and defensive solidity
Raheem Sterling

Reuters   |   Manchester   |   Published 17.12.20, 12:54 AM

Manchester City’s hopes of closing the gap on the Premier League pacesetters were frustrated as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to lowly West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

City took the lead on the half hour when Raheem Sterling did well to work his way to the byline and pull the ball back to Ilkay Gundogan who expertly side-footed home.

But West Brom, second bottom of the league, drew level two minutes before the break when a shot on the turn from Semi Ajayi hit City defender Ruben Dias and deflected past wrong-footed goalkeeper Ederson.

The hosts camped in West Brom’s half throughout most of the second period but the latter showed tremendous determination and defensive solidity. City had late chances though — Kevin De Bruyne went close with a free kick that West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone did well to reach while Sergio Aguero blasted wide from a good position.

Johnstone did well again in stoppage time to keep out a close-range Gundogan header and denied another great opportunity for Sterling who headed straight at the keeper.

After 12 games Pep Guardiola’s City are in sixth place.

“It is not about the points (off the top), you have to win games like this,” said Guardiola.“We know it, we drop points. These are the ones you have to win. It’s not far away to the top of the league but you have to beat West Brom at home,” he added.

 “You don’t have to be so clever to see the gap between this year and previous years (in our results). It is not confidence, Sergio Aguero is injured for four months, but we create chances, we are there we just can’t score.”

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‘Complacent’ Chelsea

Earlier, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Pedro Neto struck a stoppage-time winner as they came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1.

Olivier Giroud had fired Chelsea ahead in the 49th minute and Daniel Podence scored the equaliser.

But Portuguese forward Pedro Neto decided the encounter late in added time when he finished off a counter-attack, running at Kurt Zouma before drilling the ball into the bottom corner.

“At 1-0 we should see the game out,” said manager Frank Lampard who suggested his team may have become complacent after their 17-match unbeaten run before defeat at Everton last week.

“If you are not playing that well, which we weren’t at that time, hang on to 1-0, don’t allow counter-attacks,” he said.



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