Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said he was not disappointed by his players’ effort despite suffering a surprise 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring for the home side at the Etihad but Palace hit back with goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend followed by a Luka Milivojevic penalty.
Substitute Kevin De Bruyne gave City late hope but it was not enough and they remain four points behind leaders Liverpool after their first home defeat of the season.
“We started quite decent and created chances,” Guardiola told the BBC. “We scored a fantastic goal and after they passed the halfway line they scored.
“The third goal… we cannot concede the penalty we conceded. We have to try and avoid it. Football is like this. Three shots on goal and three goals. It’s complicated but we fight until the last second. We are in December and we will try and recover and try and win games again.”
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson put his side’s victory down to hard work.
“You don’t produce that sort of performance by waving a magic wand or having a five-minute team talk – there’s a lot of work that goes into that structure and we were excellent,” he told the BBC.
“We are playing against a team with enormous skill levels and their focus, their ability to sustain attacks, is an example to us all.”
He described Townsend’s goal as “magnificent”.
“I wouldn’t say I thought he was going to score but he gave himself a chance. It will be a contender for goal of the week, if not goal of the year.”
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)