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We dignify this sport – ‘Delighted’ Guardiola salutes City

Pep Guardiola believes the performances of his Manchester City side “dignify” football.

The Premier League champions were held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham on Saturday, but Guardiola was not concerned about the dropped points because their display was so good.

City racked up 30 shots compared to their visitors’ three at the Etihad Stadium, continuing the dominance that has seen them win five major domestic trophies and accumulate 198 points in the past two seasons.

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Boss Guardiola said: “I’m not going to think about how many points we need to be champions, or if Liverpool’s going to win, or if we’re going to win, when we’re in the second fixture of the season.

“Always I’m a spectator too and I’m more than delighted. What we are looking for, from the first day I came here, is to try to play in the way we played (on Saturday).

“I think we dignify this sport. We dignify the people who pay to come to watch us and see how honest we are to play for the people. And, more than anything, I would like – when I finish my period here – to leave that.

“In the first season, but especially the last two seasons, we were an incredible team. An incredible team.”

City struck against Spurs through Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero but were pegged back on rare Spurs attacks through Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura. City continued to pepper the Spurs goal and Gabriel Jesus was controversially denied a late winner by VAR after replays showed the ball hit Aymeric Laporte’s arm.

Guardiola said: “I know against which team we played – Tottenham – a team with a magnificent stadium, with a top manager and incredible players. What we did I don’t know if many teams can do against them.

“It’s frustrating to lose two points in that way but football is like this. It’s the only sport you can have 30 shots to the other team’s (three) and draw, and even lose.

“In other sports when you do what we’ve done – in basketball, tennis, golf – you win. That’s why football is fascinating.

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“We’re sad because we wanted to win and didn’t, but tomorrow we will stand up and prepare better.”

Guardiola has no concerns about his side’s finishing, despite missing so many chances.

“To have 30 or so shots we’d like to score five or six,” he said. “But it is what it is. Of course we have to improve but I don’t have any doubts. With this amount of chances we create we can score a lot of goals.”

Defender John Stones missed Saturday’s game with a thigh strain. Guardiola expects he could be out for a week to 10 days.