Pep Guardiola's remarkable outburst, in which he essentially presented a list of demands to the entire team for a return to the club's previous sky-high standards, marked the end of Manchester City's night of mood swings.
An animated and passionate Guardiola felt it was time to strike publicly, reminding everyone at Manchester City that what he has been seeing has not been good enough. It was not said in a malicious manner, but after watching the defending champions turn a 2-0 halftime deficit into a chaotic 4-2 win, he felt it was time.
Guardiola has seen enough in recent weeks to launch a remarkable stream of consciousness in the direction of anyone who would listen, despite the fact that City have cut the lead over league leaders Arsenal to five points.
At halftime, City's fans, who had been spoiled by success under Guardiola, broke out in the unusual sound of booing to express their displeasure with the game's lackluster opening 45 minutes and what they clearly saw as referee Simon Hooper's lenient behavior.
Guardiola may have ended a thunderous night by pumping his arms in the air and blowing kisses into the crowd, but he was obviously not satisfied as he warned Manchester City they would not be winning their fifth championship in six years unless they returned to their previous levels.
Guardiola's perfectionist approach bubbled to the surface during the manager's post-match debriefing, outlining what he expects of everyone at Manchester City on and off the field. The manager's reaction was one of fire and brimstone.
Nobody was spared as Guardiola was visibly celebrating his win: "I am so happy. I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight," gave him a better platform from which to admit that he wasn't really all that happy.
When his team is trying to defeat the hunger of a new rival in the form of Arsenal, Guardiola wants more than just the natural talents of his players.
Guardiola urged "guts, passion, and fire to win from minute one.". As for the fans, the same. They remain silent for 45 minutes. I desire the re-admission of my supporters.
"I want the entire organization to respond. not just the participants. " .
I want our supporters to push us, he continued. Insist on more. Mention, "Come on, guys.". More evidence? We are a pleasant team of floral designers. I'm not looking to be a cheerful flower. I want to defeat Arsenal. Arsenal will decimate us if we play that way. " .
Guardiola continued to play. He clearly noticed Arsenal's hungry fighter approach, which he now wants replicated throughout the entirety of Manchester City, despite the fact that it may have appeared and even sounded like an impromptu outburst.
"We have an opponent in Arsenal who has the fire," he said, referring to their nearly two-decade Premier League drought. I'm just laying out the facts. Despite how cozy everything is in City, the opposition moves quickly. " .
Guardiola's comments, which followed a lackluster League Cup quarterfinal loss at Southampton and the Manchester United derby loss, left no one in the vicinity in any doubt as to what he wants moving forward.
Until something unusual happened in the locker room at halftime, which may have been pretty special to hear given that Guardiola still appeared to be boiling well after the final whistle, City were facing the rarity of a third straight defeat.
All was well that ended well for City as they accelerated through the gears with three goals in 12 minutes at the start of the second half, propelled by the magnificent Riyad Mahrez, who ultimately scored two goals and assisted in the others from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland.
There is no denying that City has not been their usual fluid, menacing selves in recent weeks, but given the players' response on the field and Guardiola's message off it, they will hope this is the night that blows away any cobwebs that have been hanging over them since even before the World Cup, when they lost to Brentford at home.
Nobody who listened to Guardiola was in any doubt that he wanted the old champion City back consistently and that he wanted it now. Despite the fact that Arsenal are still in control of the title race with a game left, they are ahead by five points.
Ultimately, this was spectacular on the field, and Guardiola made it spectacular off the field.