Manchester City boss Guardiola concedes Tottenham Hotspur were better after first Premier League defeat

Pep Guardiola lauded Tottenham Hotspur after City's 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Dele Alli
Dele Alli scored Tottenham's second goal on Sunday against City Reuters

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola conceded Tottenham Hotspur were the better side after their 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The Citizens were handed their first defeat of the season under Guardiola by the home side, who began pressing right from the word go. In the ninth minute of the game, Aleksandar Kolarov, who was stationed at the far post netted an own goal. Delle Ali made it 2-0 before the break.

The two-goal lead proved unassailable for City, who had no answers to Spurs' attacking display led by Son Heung-min. Spurs could have had one more in the second half but Claudio Bravo saved Erik Lamela's spot kick to prevent further damage.

Sunday's win meant the Spurs climbed the Premier League ladder to the second spot with 17 points and closed in on the City's lead at the top. Guardiola heaped praise on their opponents and said Mauricio Pochettino's side are consistent enough to mount a title challenge this season.

"We can just say congratulations to Tottenham. When opponent is better, you accept it and learn from that," Guardiola was quoted as saying by ESPN.

"They were better, the better team. We knew how aggressive they are, home and away and especially home. Of course it was difficult, we had problems finding the guys and controlling our game.

"They were [title contenders] last season. Of course, here in the Premier League, there are many teams that can achieve that and Tottenham is one."

Under the 45-year-old manager, City have been in good form winning 10 straight games in all competitions including their Premier League derby against Manchester United. However, he had been stressing his side had room for improvement and that it would get difficult against big teams.

Guardiola added he never expected his side to win all their games and that losing would give them a chance to learn.

City have been winless in their last two games as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Celtic in their last Champions League tie. He also admitted that absence of his injured playmaker Kevin de Bruyne was not a problem with his side.

"Football is a process. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When you lose, you learn what you haven't done properly. We have to keep going," the Spaniard added.

"Of course Kevin is a fantastic player. Today, the way the play was, he wouldn't have changed too much. Kevin doesn't win alone. We need to win all together.

"Tottenham didn't win because of one player, they played better."