Pep Guardiola lashes out at Manchester City’s disappointing performance

“We Don’t Deserve to Win”: Pep Guardiola lashes out at Manchester City disappointing performance


Manchester City disappointing performance

The treble winners’ quest for dominance hit a roadblock yet again in a gripping encounter against Crystal Palace that ended in a 2-2 draw. Manchester City’s disappointing performance showcased City’s ongoing defensive vulnerabilities and a crucial penalty, leaving manager Pep Guardiola seething with frustration and lamenting his team’s inability to secure a much-needed win.

Manchester City disappointing performance

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Guardiola’s anguish stemmed from a string of uncharacteristic defensive lapses plaguing the team. Despite an impressive start with goals from Jack Grealish and Rico Lewis, City’s lead evaporated due to lapses in concentration, allowing Palace to claw back into the game. Manchester City’s disappointing performance was not the first one, their inability to shut down matches has become a recurrent theme this season, echoing Guardiola’s sentiment that they are unable to seal the deal when it matters most. They have 1 win in the last 6 Premier League games, and 4 draws, conceding late vs Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea and now Crystal Palace.  

Quoting Guardiola’s post-match sentiments, “We give away two points. When you give away this penalty, you deserve it. We don’t deserve to win.” This frustration follows a disheartening pattern, with City conceding critical goals, including the late penalty, resulting in dropped points in crucial matches.

Failing to fill the void from last season

Manchester City’s disappointing performance has also been indicated towards the ineffective replacement of Gundogan and Mahrez. With Kevin De Bruyne out, it was usually Gundogan who would make up for the void, not just in terms of output but just in filling up the spaces, making late runs, and displacing the opponent’s shape.

Croatian veteran Kovacic and Matheus Nunes are yet to make a significant mark on the club with unimpressive performances. When Rodri missed a few games, Manchester City lost all those games. Mahrez’s goal-scoring prowess and dribbling ability was one of a kind, and although Doku is an exceptional dribbler, the x-factor is yet to be replicated. The other player who played in that position – Foden, is a different kind of player and not a natural winger. Bernardo Silva, also provides another dimension, working more as a creative channel and defensively covering up. Unlike Mahrez who has a more direct approach, taking on defenders, cutting inside, and shooting. All these factors have collectively added to Manchester City’s disappointing performance.

Haaland’s Absence Amplifies Woes

The absence of Erling Haaland, the league’s leading scorer with 14 goals, compounds City’s challenges. Haaland’s sidelined status due to his foot injury which could also be a stress fracture raises concerns about the team’s attacking prowess. Guardiola’s worries heighten as the initial assessment suggests this setback might extend into a more severe stress fracture, sidelining the 23-year-old striker for consecutive Premier League games.

Guardiola’s concern about Haaland’s absence impacting City’s firepower is palpable, especially given the striker’s prolific goal-scoring ability. Haaland’s presence on the pitch often ensures City’s offensive edge, a void keenly felt during this period of uncertainty. Manchester City’s disappointing performance can also be attributed to Julian Alvarez, who hasn’t scored in the last 8 games in the Premier League.  


Manchester City’s disappointing performance against Crystal Palace encapsulates their current struggles—a blend of defensive frailties, unsuccessful new replacements, and off-late, the absence of their talismanic scorer, Erling Haaland. Guardiola’s frustration mirrors the team’s quest for consistency, emphasizing the urgency to address defensive lapses and find resilience in the absence of key players. The road ahead remains challenging for City, requiring a concerted effort to reclaim their form and navigate through the title race amid fierce competition.

Keep reading: Pep Guardiola Apologises to Kalvin Phillips

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