Guardiola tries to explain ‘many reasons’ for Man City struggles

Date published: Saturday 24th October 2020 3:25 - Samuel Bannister

Pep Guardiola claimed that Manchester City created enough chances to beat West Ham, but their opponents’ deep defending and a poor end to the first half meant they did not.

City had to come from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium. Michail Antonio scored a spectacular overhead kick in the 18th minute, but City earned a point thanks to a goal from half-time substitute Phil Foden.

It continues City’s inconsistent start to the league season. They have only scored one goal in each of their last three Premier League games – after losing 5-2 to Leicester in their last game of September.

However, Guardiola thinks their performance against West Ham was positive – apart from a 10-minute spell.

He told BT Sport: “We started really good, we concede a goal the first time they arrive. They defend so deep and we had the chance at the end to score the goal. Now we move forward.

“I think we didn’t play bad except for the last 10 minutes of the first half. We suffered in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the first half.

“They have many players arriving in the box, we had periods of that but we had the chances to score and we didn’t.

“All the teams in the Premier League are difficult. [West Ham] make a good first half, yes.

“In the second half we were better and scored early. We had the chances we needed to win the game, but unfortunately we couldn’t score.

“We created enough. Their defenders were defending so deep so it’s difficult to find spaces, but we had the chances.”

Subscribe to TEAMtalk’s daily newsletter…

Guardiola unsure about Aguero injury

Guardiola had to take off main striker Sergio Aguero at half-time. While his replacement Foden made an almost instant impact by scoring the equaliser, it could be a concern for City in the long-term.

That’s because Guardiola says the Argentina international could have a muscle injury – although he is unsure how long he could be out.

Explaining the substitution, he said: “Injury. No, I don’t know [what it is].

“It looks like a muscular injury.”

Guardiola added words of praise for goalscorer Foden as well, saying: “As always he gave us something extra.”

Overall, though, Guardiola may be concerned about the way City have started the season. They remain in the bottom half, and for the first time ever, a side he has managed has failed to reach 10 points from their first five league games of a season.

Reflecting on their shaky start, he admitted they will have to make up for lost time due to a number of reasons.

“I’m not a guy who can predict the future,” he said. “We’ve already dropped seven points, which is a lot.

“But we’ve struggled a lot for many reasons. We have to take things game by game and see what happens.”

Related Articles