Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is running away with the Premier League trophy this season but after losing 3-0 to Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League and then losing a 2-0 lead against their rivals, Manchester United, some may suspect City is not as unstoppable as we may have pictured them to be.
The Champions League first leg on Wednesday, Guardiola’s first mistake was playing Ílkay Gündogan instead of Raheem Sterling as right midfielder because Gündogan is more comfortable playing in the centre and does not have the speed necessary to run on the wing which allowed Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson to venture upfield.
Even when Sterling was subbed on later in the game, he came under intense pressure from the crowd due to being booed at every time he touched the ball which was expected but he was subbed on at the 57th minute which did not give him time to get used to the tense atmosphere.
The second mistake was playing Aymeric Laporte as right back because his job was to contain Mohammed Salah but failed to do so as well as not supporting Leroy Sane up front.
Without support from either wing, City’s central striker Gabriel Jesus was isolated up front which led to no shots on target.
This had repercussions for the Manchester derby because Guardiola rested some of his players for the second leg which was understandable when City was leading 2-0 at half-time.
However, without the pressure upfield which City was mastering throughout the season, Manchester United was` able to push up front and score goals. The quick succession of Paul Pogba goals to level the game show City is not mentally prepared when conceding goals because there was no need before.
Therefore, for City to strengthen their team next season, Guardiola needs to invest in the defence.
Source of Image – BBC