Guardiola demands more after Man City beats Huddersfield 3-0
HUDDERSFIELD, England (AP) — Three goals, three points and the pressure firmly kept on Liverpool in the title race.
Surely Manchester City couldn’t ask for much more in its 3-0 win at Huddersfield in the Premier League on Sunday?
Pep Guardiola had other ideas.
“This game can teach us and show what we have to do to improve,” said Guardiola, ever the perfectionist.
The City manager was unhappy at the pace his team played at, as well as the quality of the passing in the first half. The champions did rely on a stroke of fortune to earn a halftime lead, with full back Danilo’s long-range shot taking a wicked deflection before spinning into the net in the 18th.
City was better after the break, with wingers Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane scoring as City eased to a fifth straight win in all competitions and back to within four points of Liverpool.
“The way we played, we didn’t deserve more than three goals,” Guardiola said. “We will improve in the future. We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it’s difficult. They defended deep and man to man.”
The afternoon began ominously for Huddersfield, with a parting message on the stadium’s big screen by popular former manager David Wagner — who left his position on Monday — failing to reach fans because the sound didn’t work.
Things didn’t work any better on the field as the team, coached on a temporary basis by Mark Hudson, stayed 10 points adrift of safety and heading for a return to the second tier.
City was fortunate to go in front, though, with Danilo’s effort maybe heading wide before Christopher Schindler stuck his head out and deflected the ball past wrong-footed goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.
It was City’s 100th goal of the season in all competitions.
Sterling, who had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the first half, scored the second when he dived to head in a cross from Sane in the 54th.
Sane then got on the score sheet himself, running onto a knock-down from Sergio Aguero and sidefooting a finish past Lossl.
Steve Mounie squandered a golden chance from close range in the closing minutes for Huddersfield, which only has two wins from 23 games.
Wagner masterminded Huddersfield’s return to the top flight for the first time since 1972 but the team is heading down after two seasons.
“We stuck to the game plan,” Hudson said. “If it wasn’t for the deflected goal I think we could have stayed in the (game) longer. After that we were deflated, I could see that, but we fought to the end.
“It’s been a tough week, saying goodbye to the boss after three-and-a-half years. What he’s created here has been nigh impossible.”