Pep Guardiola’s career record as Man City suffer rare back-to-back league losses

Pep Guardiola lost back-to-back Premier League games for only the third time as Manchester City went down 1-0 to Arsenal on Sunday.

It has happened only six times in all competitions for City under Guardiola and here, the PA news agency looks at the Spaniard’s overall managerial record.

No points from six

Arsenal’s William Saliba, top, and Gabriel celebrate victory as Manchester City players look dejected
Arsenal celebrate victory over Manchester City (John Walton/PA)

It was the first time City had taken no points from a pair of league games since losing to Crystal Palace and Leicester across Christmas 2018.

Luka Milivojevic’s penalty proved decisive for Palace before Kevin De Bruyne cut the final margin to 3-2, and Leicester then overcame Bernardo Silva’s Boxing Day opener to win 2-1 through Marc Albrighton and Ricardo Pereira.

The Foxes were also the team to inflict City’s second successive loss in December 2016, Jamie Vardy with a hat-trick as Claudio Ranieri’s side won 4-2. Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho were suspended after late red cards as City lost their previous game 3-1 to Chelsea.

Long run at an end

Ricardo Pereira, third left, and Leicester celebrate victory over Manchester City on Boxing Day 2018
Ricardo Pereira, third left, and Leicester celebrate victory over Manchester City on Boxing Day 2018, the last time Guardiola lost back-to-back league games (Nick Potts/PA)

Ten teams had suffered that fate this season – Burnley, Sheffield United and Bournemouth most recently, plus West Ham, Brentford, Luton, Manchester United, Wolves, Newcastle and Everton.

Eight more of the 20 current top-flight sides – Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Crystal Palace – lost back-to-back games earlier in 2023.

The one other exception, Brighton, last did so in October of last year – almost four years more recently than City, whose run since Boxing Day 2018 stood at 178 games.

City host Brighton in their next game after the international break.

Three in a row

Kai Havertz celebrates after scoring Chelsea's winner against Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final
Kai Havertz’s Champions League winner kicked off Guardiola’s most recent run of three defeats in a row (Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal and Spurs are closest with their longest run being three defeats. Fulham had the longest losing run overall, nine games, with eight for Sheffield United and Palace.

Guardiola has twice lost three in a row across all competitions with City, first in April 2018 when a 3-2 league defeat to a Paul Pogba-inspired Manchester United was sandwiched between losses in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool.

The other sequence spanned three competitions and two seasons – the 2021 Champions League final against Chelsea followed by the Community Shield against Leicester and the 2021-22 Premier League opener at Tottenham.

The recent Wolves loss came on the back of a Carabao Cup exit against Newcastle, while the December 2018 Premier League defeats were uninterrupted by any other competition.

The other pairs came in early 2020, to Manchester United in the League Cup and Tottenham in the league, and January of this year when Southampton knocked them out of the Carabao Cup – and denied them a shot at a quadruple – before the Red Devils beat them in the league.

Long-term pattern for Pep

Pep Guardiola as Barcelona manager in 2012
Guardiola’s teams have been hard to beat ever since his time at Barcelona (Sean Dempsey/PA)

They also lost Champions League and league games consecutively twice, to Wisla Krakow and Numancia in his second and third games in charge in 2008 and to Chelsea and Real Madrid in April 2012.

With Bayern Munich in May 2015, he suffered consecutive defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Augsburg domestically and Barca in the Champions League. They won the return leg of that tie but Freiburg then made it three straight league defeats.

His only other consecutive Bundesliga losses came in April 2014 against Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund.

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