Manchester City players were hurt by the nature of the Premier League defeat to Southampton at the weekend, defender Eric Garcia has revealed.
Despite dominating the rest of the game, with 26 attempts on goal and 74 per cent possession, City just could not find a way past Alex McCarthy in the Saints goal. The defeat was City’s ninth in the league this season, and third away from home in succession.
However Garcia said the fact that City dominated at St Mary’s means this defeat hurt more than most.
“We deserved more,” he said.
“In the first ten minutes it was a bit more even, but after that we had control of the game, had a lot of chances and we are disappointed. We need to watch the game back but I think with the first objective we have done everything apart from be lucky and score a goal.
“We knew they were going to start pushing really hard. With a goal down we had to go from the beginning. Having the chances that we had and controlling their counter-attacks, I thought we did quite well.
“Obviously though, if you are unlucky in those chances you lose the game. Any defeat hurts. This one probably hurts a bit more because of everything we have done in the game, but every defeat hurts the same.”
Garcia also lifted the lid on Pep Guardiola’s half-time team talk, with City coming out strong and creating some clear chances, before the second half drinks break slowed down the pace.
“He just said to keep pushing,” Garcia explained.
“Obviously, we thought that if we had the chance to score the first one then they would open a little bit so we can find more space, but it didn’t happen. As I said, I think the team played quite well.
“I think we have just been unlucky. We have hit the post a couple of times, one v ones versus the ‘keeper, one in the first half where he saved three shots at once incredibly. Credit to their goalkeeper.”