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Pep Guardiola hints at the biggest Man City concern with scoring goals


Pep Guardiola hints at the biggest Man City concern with scoring goals

After two games without a goal, Pep Guardiola stated that Manchester City must improve on taking chances rather than creating them.

The Blues have scored 37 goals in 15 games across all competitions, averaging two or three goals per game.

However, all of those goals have come in just ten games, with five coming against Arsenal, Norwich, and Club Brugge, as well as six against Wycombe and RB Leipzig.

Crystal Palace, on the other hand, became the fifth team to keep a clean sheet against City, joining Spurs, Southampton, PSG, and West Ham, meaning Guardiola’s side has failed to score once every three matches this season.

City lost ground on leaders Chelsea with a tame home defeat against Patrick Vieira’s Palace after losing their first Carabao Cup game in over five years in midweek after a 0-0 draw was followed by a penalty shootout defeat.

Despite spending months trying to entice Harry Kane away from Tottenham, City failed to sign a striker in the summer transfer window, and Guardiola joked during their strong start to the season that he would be asked if they needed a No.9 if they lost.

Those questions didn’t come up last week, but after the Palace defeat, the manager was asked if the bigger issue was the quality (or lack thereof) of chances his team was creating or the standard of finishing in front of goal.

The City manager pointed to the latter while stating that they had no trouble scoring in some games.

“We created a lot of chances at West Ham. A lot. And we concede few. Today [Saturday], except for five or 10 minutes, it was the same. We produced more but unfortunately we have to score goals,” he said.

“We know it but we are able to score four or five in games. Brighton is an exceptional team, they had conceded five goals [in eight Premier League games] before we got there and we scored four.

” So we are a team who are able to do it, but against teams that defend so, so deep sometimes it is difficult to find the right moment to punish them.”

The statistics back up Guardiola’s claim that his team should have scored more goals in the games where they didn’t. Their Expected Goals metric (xG) was close to two against Tottenham, PSG, and West Ham, indicating that they created chances to score two goals, and it was more than one against Southampton.

Palace, on the other hand, became the first opponent this season to have a higher xG than City, as the Blues stumbled to 0.75. While better finishing could have resulted in a goal, Guardiola’s side had their worst attacking performance of the season in terms of chances created.


Pep Guardiola hints at the biggest Man City concern with scoring goals

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