Pep Guardiola admits Tottenham were the better team vs. Manchester City

LONDON -- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted Tottenham had been "one step in front" of his side in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane.

Guardiola suffered his first loss in English football as Spurs ended City's 100 percent start to the league season in their seventh match, with Dele Alli adding to Aleksandar Kolarov's own goal before half-time.

"They were better, the better team," Guardiola said. "We played against a team who had the same trainer for the last two or three years and last season was fighting for Premier League.

"They have players with talent -- we knew how aggressive they are, home and away and especially home. Of course it was difficult -- we had problems finding the guys and controlling our game.

"The second balls, we lost a lot in dangerous positions. They were one step in front of us today.

"We can just say congratulations to Tottenham. When opponent is better, you accept it and learn from that.

"Football is a process -- sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When you lose, you learn what you haven't done properly. We have to keep going."

City were without Kevin De Bruyne, who was absent with a hamstring strain, but Guardiola said the Belgian would not have changed the outcome and stressed that the defeat was not down to a lack of effort from his players.

"Of course Kevin is a fantastic player. Today, the way the play was, he wouldn't have changed too much. Kevin doesn't win alone. We need to win all together," he said.

"Tottenham didn't win because of one player -- they played better. In some aspects we weren't in control. That's all. It wasn't one aspect.

"From the beginning I didn't feel we could adapt, we couldn't make the buildup play the way we wanted. Every time we attacked behind his high pressing, we caused problems, situations.

"But we had problems too. We put long balls, they won the second ball. We had to go backwards. It was a bit difficult to control.

"They always won the second ball, and the first reaction is to say we didn't run. It's not that. It's not about not trying. When you are not in the right position when you attack or when you defend, this kind of thing can happen."

The win moved Spurs into second place, one point behind City, and they are now the only unbeaten team in the top flight after seven matches.

Asked whether Mauricio Pochettino's side were contenders for the title, Guardiola replied: "They were last season. Why not? Of course, here in the Premier League, there are many teams that can achieve that and Tottenham is one."