Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has said that the 1-1 home draw with West Brom is the type of result that his side cannot afford if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.
Although the Germany international opened the scoring, a Ruben Dias own goal levelled the game and City were unable to find a winner.
“We need to win these games, so we’re not happy with the result,” he told Amazon Prime. “I think we deserved better. We had the chances. The way we conceded is frustrating. It’s disappointing to get just a point.
“It was in the details today, especially the goal we conceded. But we should have scored a second or maybe a third.
“It’s not easy – especially in this period with all the games – to play against an opponent that defends so deep. They do it well, they play with all they have and fight for every ball. So it’s not easy to create chances, but we had them to win the game.
“If you’re not able to score more than one goal, you’re not allowed to concede one. And we did.”
Gundogan stressed that it is not only City, who have made their worst start under Guardiola in terms of both points and goals, who are toiling to get going this term.
“You can see that all over Europe, all the big teams are struggling,” he said. “Everyone is struggling with the tight fixtures, but it’s not going to be easy in the next few weeks. We can’t complain, but that’s an explanation why maybe we’re not at our best. We’re humans, we’re not robots.”
Meanwhile, visiting goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who made a string of critical late saves, was in rather more buoyant mood.
“It’s a relief actually,” he said when reflecting on his emotions at full-time. “The boys dug in and we fought for 94 minutes.
“We fought, we headed, we tackled and we’re buzzing about the result.”
City will attempt to bounce back against Southampton on Saturday.