football

Guardiola refuses to blame Laporte red for Manchester City’s defeat to Palace


Patrick Vieira said his players “suffered” during their 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium while Pep Guardiola refused to blame Aymeric Laporte’s red card and Gabriel Jesus’s VAR-adjudged offside goal for the champions’ second defeat of the season.

Wilfried Zaha was the standout performer in what was Palace’s first away win, scoring the opener and later in the first half forcing Laporte, as the last man, to wrestle him to the grass. Laporte was sent off by Andre Marriner and Zaha’s devilry subsequently caused Bernardo Silva to be booked for chopping him down.

Vieira, a former City player and coach, said: “The red card, people may think it was harsh or not harsh, I let them make their opinion. When you come to a place like City you have to be prepared to suffer and hope a decision goes in your favour. All these decisions went in our favour. In the games so far we have been really unlucky and today it went in our favour.”

Zaha also played a key part in the late second scored by Connor Gallagher, who is on loan from Chelsea. Vieira praised the pair. “Both of them, like the rest of the players, work really hard. We knew that coming to City we are not going to have much of the possession.

“We couldn’t allow ourselves one player not taking part in the defensive work. I am really pleased for Wilfried for the goal he scored but even more pleased for how hard he worked.”

Guardiola said of Laporte’s dismissal and Jesus’s cancelled effort: “It could be a yellow card, could be red it depends on the decision of the referee. The goal disallowed – I didn’t see it but I imagine the linesman said offside but we didn’t lose for that.

“We conceded the first goal and after that we work really well but then had to play 10 against 11. We need to do everything right but the players show character.”

Zaha said: “It was about getting in their faces and not letting them play. We know how good they are, we wanted to show them what we could do. I scuffed it but a goal is a goal. I was just buzzing to see it go in so I was happy. Conor Gallagher brings a lot of energy and I need people to link up with and it makes a massive difference when he helps out.

“I feel like we have had a threat but the difference now is that we keep the ball from the back and build and make our chances. We are exploiting our talent.”



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