Scrappy win at Burnley must be the last warning sign

Date published: Saturday 26th November 2016 2:37

Pep Guardiola: Struggling for consistency

Pep Guardiola: Struggling for consistency

Sergio Aguero bailed out Man City with two instinctive finishes against Burnley, but Pep Guardiola now has to restore some structure.

It was a familiar sight at Turf Moor for Manchester City fans, with the awesome Argentine papering over the cracks created by a unsettled, chaotic backline.

Dean Marney’s wonderful 14th-minute volley was deserved punishment for Pep Guardiola’s men who stuttered out of the blocks, but it could have easily been much worse had referee Andre Marriner or his assistant spotted a clear push by Nicolas Otamendi on Jeff Hendrick inside the penalty area. That pesky, low sun.

Although the foul went unpunished, it did show that this ever-changing defence which Guardiola continues to peck at still has the ability to self-destruct at any moment.

aguero-burnley

Even when Aguero dragged Man City out of doldrums, the victory never looked completely secure. Claudio Bravo’s unconvincing attempt to gather a cross in the dying moments was another opportunity missed for Burnley, who can cast themselves unfortunate to have not picked up a point at the very least after a much improved performance from the shambolic showing at West Brom last Monday.

In 22 games as Man City manager, the Spaniard has retained the same back-line on just one occasion when they played Steaua Bucharest and Stoke City in the space of a few days back in early August.

With no League Cup football on the agenda and qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League already in the bag, Guardiola has to approach this first clear run at the Premier League campaign with a settled defence.

That means picking a back three or a back four and sticking with it. That means ditching an excessive rotation policy that has contributed to Manchester City’s very patch form of late.

The time for major experimentation has to stop or else the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool – teams Man City will face before we head in 2017 – will not let them get away with the same mistakes Burnley did.

Mark Scott

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Home Forums Scrappy win at Burnley must be the last warning sign

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by john@staustell john@staustell 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #1334440

    Mark Scott
    Moderator

    Sergio Aguero bailed out Man City with two instinctive finishes against Burnley, but Pep Guardiola now has to restore some structure.

    [See the full post at: Scrappy win at Burnley must be the last warning sign]

    #1340515

    hammocity
    Participant

    What a load of bollocks, before the Burnley “penalty” claim at least two of their players were offside. Where’s the mention of the Burnley player emptying Nolito for a penalty before we scored?

    Also, ever seen “Sliding Doors”? If the penalty for Burnley had been given the match would have had a different path.

    Where’s the mention of the appalling refereeing of Mariner? City had twice the possession of Burnley but commited half the fouls. Every time one of their players lost the ball in a tackle they went down like a bag of shit. Pathetic article, absolute disgrace, it’s what we City fans expect from most sections of the media.

    #1340929
    john@staustell
    john@staustell
    Participant

    We never win at Burnley, so seems like a good result to me. I think the match stats were well in City’s favour.

    I too was struck by MoTD’s concentration on the Burnley ‘penalty’, whilst absolutely ignoring Nolito being obviously cleaned out in the Burnley area. Not to mention the clear handball which the ref was about to blow for when the ball went in the net a bit later.

    But it’s the incredibly simplistic ‘if we’d scored that goal in the first half we would have won’ argument that is daftest of all. Liverpool were quite fond of it a few years ago when an early goal was wrongly disallowed for offside and City eventually won.

    The game changes – if a top 4 team has a goal scored against them they normally pile and pile on the pressure. If they are ahead they usually don’t.

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