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‘The best team won’ – No complaints from Pep Guardiola in Manchester City defeat to Brentford

Pep Guardiola admits that the best team won after Ivan Toney’s stoppage-time strike consigned Manchester City to a shock 2-1 defeat against Brentford at the Etihad Stadium.

Toney scored either side of Phil Foden’s equaliser in a perfect response to being left out of England’s World Cup squad, as City were consigned to only a second league defeat of the season.

“The best team won,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

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“We struggled a lot with their long balls, and they didn’t have many sequences of passes. It was direct with (David) Raya the keeper playing balls to the striker.

“When they lost the ball, they were always behind it and we didn’t win one ball in that position. Toney flicked the ball on, and we always had problems behind and in front of our defence.

“That’s why we couldn’t find our rhythm and attackingly it was difficult because they defended really well with the three central defenders and three holding midfielders.

“We had more momentum, but from the beginning, in the first actions, there were crosses against us and we also struggled with the second balls.”

Meanwhile, the City boss dismissed suggestions that his players could have been distracted with the World Cup just around the corner and stressed his team were not good enough on the day to get a result.

“It’s difficult, in the small spaces we need to find quality, but we struggled and they were better. It’s happened and we have to accept it.

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“Who knows [when asked if the upcoming World Cup was a distraction]? I don’t think so. The problem was more about dealing with the long balls and then the second ones – we weren’t able to do it.

“It’s football, and now it’s a break for everyone and we congratulate Brentford. Hopefully the guys can enjoy the World Cup and then come back.”

City’s defeat means that Arsenal are guaranteed to be top of the Premier League at Christmas, regardless of their result away at Wolves in Saturday’s 7.45pm kick-off.

The Gunners will move five points clear at the top of the table with a win at Molineux, after winning 11 of their opening 13 league games.

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