November 24, 2018 / 8:00 PM / 9 months ago

Guardiola just happy to avoid post-international stumble

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United v Manchester City - London Stadium, London, Britain - November 24, 2018 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts REUTERS/David Klein

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was critical of his team’s performance despite their 4-0 Premier League win at West Ham United on Saturday, blaming the international break.

He was grateful, however, to avoid dropping points, noting that major European teams such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United had all stumbled this weekend.

“The guys were training (elsewhere) for 10 days, most of them in a different way, sometimes in a different rhythm and they come back and have just one training centre and then travel away to West Ham,” Guardiola told reporters.

“The pass, we lost more, we didn’t find the right spots to attack them. They were there but we didn’t find them but the four goals were fantastic, the result is incredible.”

The break from club football led to several upsets with Real Madrid losing 3-0 at Eibar, Bayern Munich drawing 3-3 with Fortuna and Manchester United limping to a scoreless draw at home to Crystal Palace.

“After the international break we know Madrid lose away, Bayern Munich draw at home, (Manchester) United were not able to win at home. It is complicated after the international break, always so difficult so that is why I give a lot of credit (to the team) knowing we have to be better,” Guardiola said.

Champions City remained two points clear at the top of the table.

Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by Ed Osmond

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