Pep Guardiola set an unnecessary record in his managerial career following Manchester City's surprise defeat to Southampton on Sunday. The Citizens slumped to a 1-0 loss at the St Mary's Stadium, making it the first time ever that their Spanish manager had lost three consecutive away league games.
After welcoming Liverpool to the Etihad with a guard of honor and subsequently thrashing the champions 4-0, not many expected City to go down the road they did on Sunday. Having squandered a host of excellent goalscoring chances, a defensive howler proved to be the Achilles heel for the former champions once again.
In a failed attempt to play out from the back, the hosts ended up gifting the ball to Southampton's Che Adams and the forward sent a chip from about 40 yards over Ederson for the game's only goal. The bizarre moment presented the Englishman his first goal for the Saints following his £14 million move from Birmingham City last summer.
For Manchester City, the day's result epitomized the topsy-turvy ride they have endured this season despite sealing their place in top-four. With their charge to defend the league title failing as a result of inconsistency, Pep Guardiola has set his sight on championing a renaissance as soon as possible.
"In general the games we played we were more than good. That is my feeling," he said in a post-match interview after the Southampton defeat.
"We played more than good but it is not enough to win the games.
"We lost but we cannot say we are a team who doesn't score goals this season, we are leading in goals, we create a lot of chances.
"But in reality we concede less than other teams in the Premier League but we lost a lot of games, a lot of games - and that's why it is difficult even for me to find a reason why but we have to insist and talk about the game, the way they play and concede as little as possible and try to score goals.
"I have confidence we can do it because we are the same guys that we are and we did it in previous seasons. This season the way we are playing is quite similar but it is not enough to win the games."