Football News

Pep Guardiola reveals Man City’s biggest weakness after beating Liverpool in title race

By Ben Green

Published: 19:04, 12 May 2019

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has conceded his side struggle from set-pieces after securing the Premier League title on Sunday.  

City thrashed Brighton 4-1 on the final day of the season, ensuring Guardiola and his side retained a league title for the first time in the club’s history.

Are City weak from set-pieces? Four key things to know…

  1. City went a goal down to Brighton courtesy of a Glenn Murray header in the 27th minute.
  2. Guardiola’s side recently conceded a goal from a corner to Fernando Llorente against Spurs which sent them out of the Champions League.
  3. In the Premier League this season Man City have won the second-worst number of aerial duels (547).
  4. Guardiola has now joked that he is the tallest person at City, which is why his side are not great when is comes to set-pieces.

Liverpool chased City all the way, but a comfortable win at the Amex has now put the Citizens on course for a domestic treble, with the FA Cup set to be contested against Watford next weekend.

The Hornets have a number of physically-imposing players on their books, as well as keys forwards who have a penchant for delivering dangerous crosses into the box, notably Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra.

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As such, manager Javi Gracia may want to capitalise on this and try to expose City’s frailties after Guardiola admitted set-pieces are not part of his side’s repertoire.

Speaking after City’s win over Brighton, he said: “I’m the tallest guy (at City). So when it’s a set-piece you go to the church to pray.”

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Guardiola: I am not a coach for the tackles

Prioritising on the ascetics of the beautiful game, Guardiola has previously admitted that he never trains his players to tackle, instead focusing on the attacking phases of his side’s play.

It will therefore come as no surprise that City struggle to dominate from set-pieces, according to Guardiola, as he primarily wants to instil a ball-playing mentality rather than an aggressive streak in his side.

In 2016 the Catalan coach told Sky Sports: “I am not a coach for the tackles so I don’t train the tackles. What I want is to try and play good and score goals and arrive more [in the box].”

And while the likes of Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce may very well struggle to grasp to concept of neglecting defence, Guardiola will point to his attractive brand of football and the titles he has accumulated along the way as vindication for his methods.