Manchester City lost control of top spot in the Premier League after a late Chris Wood goal denied them victory against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Pep Guardiola lost his mind to the match officials, but later accepted that his players were to blame for the kind of result that costs titles.
The Manchester City boss raged on the touchline over referee Graham Scott’s performance and was booked for voicing his opinion too strongly after claiming the champions should have gotten a penalty for Joe Worrall’s tugging on Manchester City’s shirt. Erling Haaland.
But after calming his temper, Guardiola accepted that the result was down to City failing to finish off Steve Cooper’s Forest.
The visitors had 84 percent of the ball in the first half, but Bernardo Silva’s lightning bolt was the only goal they had to prove their dominance.
After the break, Haaland, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte squandered opportunities that any team with plans to finish on top must take advantage of.
And then, with six minutes to go, Forest substitute Chris Wood bowled City over with an equalizer that sent the City Ground into a frenzy.
It is the third time this season that the Blues have given up points to a team that managed just one shot on goal.
After rising to the top of the table by beating Arsenal in midweek, Guardiola’s men are once again looking at the Gunners.
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Guardiola said: “We lost points because we didn’t score more, and we also could have defended with more energy for his goal.
“The way we played was brilliant. We should have been 3-0 up at half-time, but then we conceded a shot on goal and lose points.
“We had a good win at Arsenal. Today we played even better against a team that was defending with nine players in their area.
“But when you lose so many chances one meter from the goal… what can I say?
“After games like this, you don’t say anything to the players. Just go home and go to sleep and think about the next game.”
The next step is a trip to RB Leipzig in the Champions League. Guardiola will expect the prop to wear shooting boots.
City virtually outclassed Nottingham in the first half, but the home side never waved the white flag.
Rodri headed in a glorious deflected chance and Ilkay Gundogan was close too.
Then, four minutes before the break, Silva advanced to a short pass from Grealish and hit a 25-yard shot over the head of Forest keeper Keylor Navas and into the roof of the net.
Cooper insisted: “I am disappointed with the VAR because there was a clear foul on Joe Worrall.
“For me, VAR has let the referee down.”
Navas could have done better, but how the Costa Rican made up for it after halftime.
Foden, removed by Gundogan, should have doubled City’s lead but slipped and then failed to find Haaland with a pass that would have given the striker a touch.
Laporte headed a De Bruyne corner straight to Navas from inside the six-yard box.
And Guardiola’s nerves snapped in the 65th minute when he was booked for his theatrical reaction to Worrall’s challenge on Haaland.
He said, “Why would Erling fall down when he’s one on one with the guardian?
“Maybe it would have been soft, maybe not, but that’s why I complained to the fourth official, and received a well-deserved yellow card.”
Guardiola’s mood darkened further when Navas missed Foden’s shot and Haaland bounced a rebound off the crossbar before lobbing the loose ball over the open goal.
Cooper sent Wood off with 11 minutes remaining and the New Zealand striker on loan from Newcastle smuggled in at the far post to score after Brennan Johnson and Morgan White-Gibbs had produced Forest’s first move of any quality.
It was as vital for Forest as it was devastating for City.
Cooper said: “We put a plan in place to stay in it for as long as we could.
“City are probably the best team in the world at a national level, but we wanted that moment to go in, and it was a great goal.”