'You can't expect 100 points every time' - Guardiola manages expectations after Man City shocked at Norwich

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The Spaniard also backed Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones to bounce back following a disastrous defensive display at Carrow Road

Pep Guardiola says fans can't expect Manchester City to win every game, after they were beaten 3-2 at Norwich on Saturday evening.

City twice came back into the game thanks to Sergio Aguero and Rodri, but goals from Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki ensured an unexpected victory for the Championship winners.

The result leaves City five points adrift of early Premier League leaders Liverpool, following Jurgen Klopp’s side coming back to win against Newcastle in Saturday’s early kick-off.

“I know what we are as a team,” Guardiola told Sky Sports after the game. “I know what they have done, what we are going to do again, and I love my players.

“It’s a pleasure and an honour to be with them. This is the challenge at the high level.

“People cannot expect us to win or pick up 100 points all the time. We’re going to recover, we go to play in Europe now and then we will come back.”

Norwich’s third goal from Pukki drew plenty of criticism, after Nicolas Otamendi was robbed at the edge of his own area by Emi Buendia in the build-up.

With Aymeric Laporte missing until the new year, Otamendi and John Stones are set to carry the burden at the centre of defence, a partnership which has attracted attention in the past for being notably error-prone.

Sergio Aguero Manchester City 2019-20

But Guardiola underlined his faith that the pair will shine in Laporte’s absence – starting at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.

“How many games have John and Nico played together in these, more than three years together?” Guardiola noted. “A lot. Thanks to them, we have won, so we cannot analyse just the last eight or 10 games.

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“They are the central defenders we have, we don’t have any more. We have Fernandinho who can play there, we can maybe play Rodri there. It’s not a worry.

“Normally I count how many chances [our opponents] create and I think they didn’t create too much, honestly. So there was the three goals, but I don’t know how many other shots on target they had, how many chances.

“I don’t have that feeling, that they had many, many, many chances. It happens sometimes. For example, Bournemouth, they had more chances than [Norwich had] today, and we won that game. But of course you have to improve.”

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