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Man City are accomplishing what Pep Guardiola thought was impossible


Man City are accomplishing what Pep Guardiola thought was impossible

Manchester City had won their third Premier League title in four years by early May, but there was unrest at the club.

Pep Guardiola used a lengthy interview ahead of the Champions League final to discuss the need to re-energize his squad. “You have to shake and move,” he said. “It’s nearly impossible with the same guys.”

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak bullishly raised expectations of a Sergio Aguero replacement arriving in the summer transfer window in his annual sermon delivered via club media, saying to sit back would be complacency.

A glaring misreading of Harry Kane’s situation, however, left plenty of egg on City’s faces; a number of moves away from the club never materialised, and while they did break the British transfer record to sign Jack Grealish for £100 million, it was widely accepted that they hadn’t done the squad shake-up that they had set out to do.

Guardiola said this week that the only way to find a solution was to sit in a chair and cry about not getting a striker, but on Saturday, Graham Potter may as well have wept after becoming the latest to fall foul of this incredible team.

Brighton came into this game in fourth place, having allowed just five goals in eight games; City put three past them in 31 minutes, and the scoreline didn’t do them any favors.

The Blues were simply unstoppable as they bludgeoned the home goal and countered clinically to devastating effect, with Phil Foden leading the line and Bernardo Silva pulling the ball and everyone else on a string.

This was the latest statement victory from a team that has been in outstanding form, having inflicted Chelsea’s only defeat of the season and matching Liverpool in a pulsating game at Anfield.

Of course, this is not a new setup for this season. With Sergio Aguero injured and Gabriel Jesus out of form for much of last season, City managed to reach their first-ever Champions League final without a recognised striker.

The question of City’s need for a clinical marksman has not been answered simply because of this start – the time may still come.

However, it is undeniable that this team appears to have been refreshed and improved despite only adding Grealish, a player who has started regularly but has not been close to being one of the squad’s most influential players.

City’s goal scorers have been with the club since 2009 (Foden) and 2016 (Ilkay Gundogan), with the best player, Bernardo, joining in 2017.

City are many months away from having a successful season, but with their current form, fans have every right to dream again.

Opposition teams that have had a season to prepare for facing a strikerless side appear to be finding it more difficult to stop them than ever before.


Man City are accomplishing what Pep Guardiola thought was impossible

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