Guardiola insists Man City played at 'good level' in Newcastle draw

Jonjo Shelvey's late strike secured a 2-2 draw for Newcastle United but Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was not too hard on his team.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola reacts on the touchline at St. James's Park.   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola insists he was happy with his side's performance despite Jonjo Shevley's late strike for Newcastle United denying Manchester City all three points on Saturday.

City looked like it was heading for a slender win after Kevin De Bruyne's stunning 82nd-minute strike, but Shelvey whipped home from 25 yards to seal a 2-2 draw for Steve Bruce's side.

City was far from its fluid best at St James' Park and ended the day 11 points behind leader Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp's side overcame Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.

Guardiola, though, felt his players performed well enough to have taken all three points.

"We played at a good level," he said. "We moved well, we created enough chances – unfortunately that happens [Shelvey's goal]. In general, we played good. I think we played at the level of last season."

Read: Guardiola's side suffers fresh title blow after Shelvey stunner

Asked if he was frustrated by the perceived negative tactics of the host, Guardiola responded: "It's what we have lived with for the last four years – it's always like this. We found a way today but at the end we conceded a goal."

Despite the gap to leader Liverpool, defender John Stones says City has no intention of throwing in the towel in their bid for a third consecutive title.

"From elation to deflation; it's a difficult one to take," he said.

"It's still on because we will still fight until the last day like we did last season. The spirit has always got to be there because anything can happen in any game."

-Not a good idea to think about Premier League title-

Guardiola insists City cannot think about the Premier League title after losing further ground on Liverpool with a 2-2 draw at Newcastle United.

City led twice at St James' Park through Raheem Sterling's 15th goal of the season for club and country and a blistering Kevin De Bruyne strike.

But after Jetro Willems, a goalscorer at Anfield earlier this season, had his latest say in the title race, Jonjo Shelvey matched the quality of De Bruyne's intervention with a stunning leveller two minutes from time.

Guardiola saw his side embark on a 14-match winning run after a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle in January that appeared terminal to its hopes of retaining the title.

"It's not the time. We have another opponent in front of us," he said when asked about City's fading prospects of a third title in a row at the post-match news conference.

"We now have to try and win games, win games and see what happens.

"It's not a good idea to think about the Premier League and how many points. We have to win games. If we do not win, it will be more difficult.

"Last season [against Newcastle] we played bad. Today I think we did everything to win the game and that is the truth.

"We played on a good level, defending, set pieces and everything. We moved the ball well, we found the spaces outside and we arrived in front of the goal many, many times.

"Unfortunately, we could not score [enough to win]."

Having two leads cancelled out swiftly represented a new frailty for a City side that has looked increasingly vulnerable over recent weeks, but Guardiola was keen to credit Newcastle.

"It's better to score one, take time and score the second one. But they play," he said.

"In one situation, they defend deep and make a good action; in the second one, Shelvey puts it in the corner."

Asked whether former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey had done his part in securing a first league title for 30 years on Merseyside, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce replied: "I don't know about that!

"I do know it's his second goal in [four] games and, very quietly over the last few weeks, I've been very, very pleased with Jonjo.

"He's responded to what we want to do, and we all know he's got that ability in his locker."

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