Pep Guardiola said Manchester City deserved to beat Middlesbrough after a 2-2 draw left his side facing three crucial home games in their quest for Champions League qualification.
City twice came from behind to earn a point at the Riverside Stadium, with Sergio Aguero scoring a controversial second-half penalty and Gabriel Jesus heading home his fourth goal for the club in the 85th minute.
Guardiola explained that he started with a two-pronged strike force in order to free up playmaker Kevin De Bruyne in a more advanced role, and the City boss felt his side were good value for all three points.
“We put together Sergio and Gabriel up front,” said Guardiola.
“Normally we play with one striker but I didn’t want to put Kevin De Bruyne in the role as a holding midfielder. I prefer to have him free to connect with our full-backs, and to have two strikers in the box.
“We deserved to win, definitely. In the second half we made absolutely everything. They crossed the [half-way] line twice.
“In the first 20 minutes of the first half they created chances, but in the second half we were much better.”
The result left City just one point ahead of rivals Manchester United in fourth and Guardiola said that his side’s next three matches, at home to Crystal Place, Leicester City and West Brom, would determine their fate.
Culled from Goal