Manchester City found themselves 2-0 down at half time against Tottenham in the Premier League before coming back to win 4-2 in the second half.
Pep Guardiola walked out of one post-match interview when asked what his half-time message was during Manchester City’s comeback win over Tottenham Hotspur.
City conceded two injury-time goals to find themselves 2-0 down at the Etihad on Thursday, but were revitalised after the break to come back and win 4-2. Guardiola was furious after the match and embarked on a series of extraordinary rants that criticised his players, the City fans and even the whole ‘organisation’ at the club – and his frustrations were evident when he refused to tell Sky Sports what he told his players at half time.
However, two-goal hero Riyad Mahrez was more accommodating, explaining that Guardiola was positive with his players at the interval, and knew the right things to say to push City to improve.
“Nothing really [went wrong in the first half],” he said. “I thought we played good in the first half, we just had two minutes where we conceded two goals. It happens – we were a bit frustrated at half time, we’ve been in this position so many times and we knew that we could come back and score two or three goals and that’s what we did. We are so, so happy and now we focus on the next one.
“We were saying [at half-time] we were good, we just had two minutes where we conceded two goals. We were talking about that we have to come back very strong, and the manager had good words with us as well. He pushed us.
“He knows how to speak to us and to push us to come back. He said we’ve done it in the past and nothing can stop us to come back and try to win the game. We’re at home with our fans and that’s what we did.”
While Guardiola was critical of City’s complacency on Thursday, warning that they won’t always be able to come back after falling behind, Mahrez admitted that their record of turning games around gave the side belief against Spurs.
“We’ve done it in the past. We never doubted ourselves about coming back into the game,” he revealed. “We did it last year so many times and this year we did it again. We are very strong and we showed it today. It’s not really easy to come back after two goals in the first half and score four goals in the second half. Big, big compliment to the players and staff and we have to keep going. There’s still a lot of games, we focus on the next one and try to win.
“It’s always important to win games. The way we want to play and the way we play the games we try to win every game. Today, first half I think we played well, we had some good chances. I don’t think we were bad and then in the second half we scored four goals, and it was amazing and we’re happy.”