Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits that he was not surprised by Middlesbrough’s spirited display at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday.
The Blues fought hard to walk away with a point at the Riverside Stadium, when a penalty by Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus cancelled out goals from Alvaro Negredo and Calum Chambers.
Guardiola says he expected a difficult battle against a Boro side fighting to keep their Premier League status alive.
‘We were much better in the second half and created enough chances to win the game, but it’s not easy against a side like Middlesbrough, who are fighting down at the bottom,’ Guardiola told the Manchester City website.
‘I think the fight for the top four will go down to the last game – everyone who is competing for those places have tough games so it will not be easy, but we give absolutely everything in these last few matches to try and be in there.
‘In the first-half we had problems to control their counter-attacks, but the second half was much better. We did absolutely everything to get the winner, but it wasn’t enough. It’s a point and we are still there and it now all depends on the final few games at the Etihad.’
The City boss says he was pleased with Gabriel Jesus’ performance, after scoring on his second appearance since returning from his long-term injury.
‘I am pleased for him, but he needs time. He’s had three months out and has only had four training sessions. Ideally, I wanted him to have 60 minutes, but what happened in the first half changed that, but he is young and coped.’ he added.
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