Pep Guardiola says Man City must improve after draw with Middlesbrough

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Guardiola frustrated with late Boro equaliser

Manchester City must improve in both penalty areas to stop letting valuable Premier League points slip, says manager Pep Guardiola.

City conceded in injury time to draw 1-1 with Middlesbrough, allowing Chelsea to overtake them as league leaders.

They had 71% possession and 25 shots to Boro's five, but failed to win for a third consecutive home league game.

"The balance is what we want to see but in the boxes we are not good enough," said Guardiola.

"But do you think it is a problem that we concede two chances a game and create 10? I have no regrets about that."

Sergio Aguero's 150th goal for City put them ahead just before half-time but Marten de Roon exposed the home side's lack of concentration to equalise with a 91st-minute header.

Guardiola's side drew their previous two home league games, against Everton and Southampton, though they did subsequently beat Barcelona in the Champions League.

"When you see those three games, we dropped six points, but what did the opponent do?" said the former Barcelona boss.

"In the three games, they arrived in our box a total of four or five times. Today they had 10 players in the box for 90 minutes."

Guardiola said winger Raheem Sterling and defender Nicolas Otamendi had been rested for Saturday's game.

Sterling, he added, would be available for England's forthcoming matches against Scotland and Spain.

'A complicated competition'

Aguero's goal was his 14th in 15 matches in all competitions, but he missed a chance to seal victory with five minutes to go.

Found by Jesus Navas in the box, the Argentina striker fired high and wide.

"It was a strange match because we controlled the game but I have a bad feeling because we conceded," Aguero said.

"I had many chances, the clearest was the one where Jesus Navas pulled the ball back to me. It was under my feet and I only had a few seconds to decide. I need to improve on that.

"The Premier League is a complicated competition where anyone can beat you. That showed today."

Sergio Aguero tweet


Former England winger Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 live

City lacked ideas in the second half. They were in control and knocked it around, but not with the tempo you'd expect of a Pep Guardiola side, it was very slow, they looked sluggish.

They dominated the game but seemed to run out of legs in the second half.

Boro carved out one glorious chance towards the end of the game and it was a fantastic header from Marten de Roon.

Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright on BBC Match Of The Day

Manchester City dominated a game again but they just didn't get the luck or take their chances. They created some good opportunities - Aguero, Silva and De Bruyne all got into good positions but it just didn't happen for them.

You could see from the faces of the City players as they came off the pitch they were very disappointed. Middlesbrough were terrible in the first half but they tried to get forward more in the second and put City under pressure. At 1-0 you are always in the game.

Your reaction on #bbcfootball

Seth Gogo Egoeh: Pep Guardiola, welcome to the Premier League! Enjoyable!

Will Kavanagh: Guardiola overrated. Never transformed a team in his entire managerial career. Arsenal have a real chance.

Mat VP: Does this mean the media will stop lauding City's win over Barca as the new dawn of greatness? Different league.

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