Sport Defensive deficiencies on show again for Manchester City in 5-2 loss
Manchester City off to winning start with victory at Wolves
Manchester City off to winning start with victory at WolvesThe result means there has not been a single drawn match in the opening two rounds of Premier League fixtures and the 44 goals over a single 'game week' is a record for the 20-team era.
A reminder that tangible change is unlikely to occur in the space of a month. Manchester City were never going to eradicate their deficiencies during a non-existent pre-season.
There will be a number of teams, not least champions Liverpool, who observed Leicester City’s plan at the Etihad Stadium with relish.
Stay narrow when defending, so narrow that a parachute could cover all ten outfield players behind the ball, and wait for attacking opportunities on the break.
Leeds United's loan star Jack Harrison on leaving Manchester United
Leeds United's on-loan winger Jack Harrison says he is 'proud' that he walked away from The Whites bitter rivals, Manchester United, as he battled his way to the Premier League..Harrison spent seven years at Manchester United's academy, but the day he chose to leave Old Trafford was the biggest and best decision of his life.
Countering chances are plentiful against City and Jamie Vardy is perhaps the finest exponent of those in the division.
He led the sluggish Eric Garcia a merry dance and, although City’s defensive frailties were again worryingly apparent, Leicester were allowed to impact this game on the back of a passive 25 minutes after the hosts took the lead.
Brendan Rodgers’ side sat in, held their nerve in a rigid 5-4-1 formation safe in the knowledge that their moments would arrive. City were frustrated, playing too horizontally in midfield against two banks of five.
A team of 2020's most under-appreciated players
With plenty of focus on this week’s All Australian team announcement, it feels appropriate to focus on those other players who have enjoyed a successful 2020. Having unashamedly watched almost every game of 2020, putting together a team of those players who fly under the radar is an enjoyable and difficult task. There have been plenty of predictions and squads prepared throughout the season, heaping praise and putting a lot of attention on stars of the competition that will likely receive individual awards.
They barely registered a chance of genuine note following Riyad Mahrez’s stunning fourth-minute opener. Again, more than 75 per cent of the possession in that period and again, Kasper Schmeichel not really producing a save worth discussing.
There is mitigation here, City without a recognised senior striker, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus out injured.
Bernardo Silva is absent as well. But there was more than enough on that pitch to break Leicester down and, if we are honest, Aguero’s inclusion is unlikely to have altered this much.
Leicester had the blueprints for victory. Those who took points at the Etihad last year – Tottenham, Wolves, Manchester United, Crystal Palace – all had the same idea as Rodgers.
Catch City a little lacklustre in attack and the defence might well be generous with the space to break at pace.
Pep Guardiola fears top-flight football faces an injury crisis
Pep Guardiola fears leading managers are powerless to stop an injury crisis this season as he prepares to face Leicester City on Sunday without a senior striker. Guardiola, already without record scorer Sergio Aguero, will also miss Gabriel Jesus for City's next three games at least after he suffered muscular problems during the win at Wolves on Monday.Raheem Sterling may be forced to play a false nine on Sunday afternoon while 17-year-old Liam Delap should be on the bench following his debut goal against Bournemouth in the EFL Cup.
Even so, this was the most staggering home defeat of Guardiola’s tenure.
Quite how a team can concede five at home after boasting so much of the ball defies logic. Garcia, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy will rue individual mistakes.
Ruben Dias is expected to arrive at City in the coming hours after waving goodbye to Benfica on Saturday, another new central defender signed under Pep Guardiola.
Dias will cost in the region of £64million, with Nicolas Otamendi going the other way for around £14m.
The 23-year-old simply cannot correct the ills by himself. What Guardiola must hope for is that both Dias and Aymeric Laporte stay fit so he can finally have something of a consistency in selection.
The issues are deep-rooted, however, and it would be unfair to expect Dias to drastically improve them immediately.
Video: "Mikel Arteta quiet on Mesut Ozil after Carabao Cup win over Leicester" (Evening Standard)
Manchester United humiliated as Mourinho's Spurs win 6-1 at Old Trafford .
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