Back-to-back de­feats hint at flaws con­cedes Guardi­ola

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

MANCH­ESTER CITY boss Pep Guardi­ola ad­mits his sys­tem could be flawed af­ter back-to­back de­feats to Liver­pool in the Cham­pi­ons League then neigh­bours United on Satur­day.

And Red Devils boss Joe Mour­inho has im­plied Guardi­ola may also have made a mis­take with com­ments he made about Paul Pogba be­fore the Manch­ester derby. Pogba scored twice to spark a dra­matic come­back as United re­cov­ered from 2-0 down to win Satur­day’s derby at the Eti­had Sta­dium 3-2. Asked if it was Guardi­ola’s busi­ness to be dis­cussing Pogba, United man­ager Mour­inho said: “I of­ten make mis­takes. No prob­lem.”

Mour­inho claims the mat­ter did not bother him, and Pogba’s per­for­mance proves the player was also un­per­turbed. He said: “No, I don’t even think about it. We know Guardi­ola (and) Mino, the re­la­tion­ship is not the best, so (it) is nor­mal that sometimes they can come with a lit­tle ‘touch’ on each other. I was not wor­ried about it, I was not up­set by it. I didn’t speak with Paul about it, I didn’t call Mino to ask him any­thing at all. I was just fo­cused on the game and I think Paul the same, be­cause the way he played is only pos­si­ble when he’s fo­cused on the game.”

Guardi­ola was un­will­ing to speak about the mat­ter again af­ter the game but stood by his claims that an ap­proach was made to the club. “I trust in my peo­ple,” he said. How­ever, Guardi­ola is less con­vinced by his sys­tem it would seem: “I came here to try to do what we’ve done all sea­son, but maybe it’s not enough to win at Cham­pi­ons League level or the Premier League.

“If that’s so I will have to recog­nise that I’m not good enough or the way we want to play (means we are) not able to do that – but I don’t think so be­cause of what we’ve done this sea­son.”

Guardi­ola con­cedes los­ing con­trol in such a man­ner is not a new prob­lem for him. He par­tic­u­larly re­mem­bers how his Bay­ern Mu­nich side al­lowed Barcelona to score three times late in the first leg of their Cham­pi­ons League semi-fi­nal in 2015.

How­ever, the Spa­niard re­mains com­mit­ted to fluid, at­tack­ing foot­ball.

He said: “I thought many times about that. I’ve dropped a lot of Cham­pi­ons League games in the space of 10 or 15 min­utes. I’ve thought about that many times.

“Barcelona – 77 min­utes 0-0, 90 min­utes 3-0. It hap­pened many times. Maybe it’s my fault. I have to think about it.

“But I feel that when you dom­i­nate and cre­ate chances you are closer to win­ning games and I think this sea­son has shown that.

“The num­bers we have done in terms of goals – not just goals, the chances we con­cede – are the best. But it’s im­pos­si­ble when the op­po­nents ar­rive four times and score three goals – there is no sys­tem that can sus­tain that, so it’s so com­pli­cated.”

Guardi­ola ac­cepts the men­tal scars of Satur­day’s derby de­feat could weigh heav­ily as City seek to over­turn the odds against Liver­pool, and though United’s win de­nied the run­away Premier lead­ers the chance to wrap up the ti­tle, the 13-point lead at the top sug­gests it is still a mat­ter of when not if City claim the crown.

PEP GUARDI­OLA: Man City boss con­cedes his sys­tem may be flawed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.