Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made his Premier League debut at the Citizens beat Sunderland 2-1.
Sergio Aguero had given City the lead in the 4th minute, with Jermain Defoe equalizing for Sunderland in the middle of the second half. With few minutes to go, Guardiola was spared his blushes after an unfortunate Paddy McNair own goal ensure Guardiola started his City career with a win.
“I realise how difficult it is,” Guardiola grinned afterwards when asked what he had learned about English football. “Definitely. We are not safe until the referee says ‘Okay, go home.'”
“It was gut-wrenching,” said Sunderland coach David Moyes afterwards. “We’d done a great job in containing them as best we could, the players had done great. We knew we wouldn’t get an awful lot of the ball, but we’d just about done the job. But just about is not enough.”
“That is normal in the moment we are,” he said, acknowledging that the team was still gelling together. “These kind of things must happen for us to learn, to be better.”
The legendary Spaniard had started the game with a number of surprising line-up decisions, starting second-choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero over normal first team goalie Joe Hart, and leaving Yaya Toure out of the match squad entirely.
With 37 more games to go, Guardiola’s learning curve in the EPL will certainly be a steep one.