Pep Guardiola said Manchester City did not deserve to win after a late fightback from Crystal Palace saw them held to a 2-2 draw in a dramatic finale at the Etihad Stadium.
City dominated possession and looked to be cruising at 2-0 up following goals from Jack Grealish in the first half and Rico Lewis nine minutes into the second.
But Palace hit back with a 76th-minute Jean-Philippe Mateta goal before Michael Olise equalised in the fifth minute of stoppage time with a penalty awarded after Phil Foden caught Mateta in the box.
Dropping points for the fifth time in six Premier League matches, in their last outing before heading to Saudi Arabia for the Club World Cup, leaves the champions in fourth place, three points behind leaders Liverpool, who host Manchester United on Sunday.
Boss Guardiola, whose side had drawn 4-4 with Chelsea, 1-1 with Liverpool and 3-3 with Tottenham and lost 1-0 to Aston Villa prior to last Sunday’s 2-1 win at Luton, said: “It is not bad luck, it was deserved, we gave away two points.
“When you give this penalty, you deserve it. You see the chances we created, the chances we concede, it’s quite similar, except the Chelsea game, all this season. But we are not able to close the game.
“There was a chance (for Palace) in the first half…but until the (Mateta) goal, they didn’t do anything.
“So the team was really, really good. But at the end, when you give Crystal Palace this penalty, you don’t deserve it. It’s like the penalty for Chelsea (Cole Palmer’s late equaliser).
“The games against Spurs, Liverpool, today, were excellent, but we were not able to win the game. What has happened is because we are not consistent enough to close the games, and many reasons.”
Guardiola denied City were not playing with the same intensity for the final 20 minutes, before adding: “18-yard box, you have to be careful, and we were not. We don’t deserve to win.”
Treble-winners City, who were once again without injured forward Erling Haaland, are now set to play Japanese outfit Urawa Red Diamonds in the Club World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday, with the final taking lace on Friday.
Guardiola said: “Six, seven-hour flight with the result, just three days to recover, three days for a potential final – it is what it is. Now we are down and we lift as quick as possible and go to compete there.”