3 Academy prospects Paris Saint-Germain didn’t capitalize03 April 2020 / Miguel Coelho
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Manchester City added a new disappointment in the Premier League on Saturday after the 2-2 draw against Newcastle. That result, coupled with a new victory for Liverpool, left the Citizens' 11 points behind their great rival for the title and also meant the worst start of a season for Pep Guardiola throughout his career.
Last season, after falling 2-1 in St James' Park precisely against Newcastle, Pep Guardiola saw the title too far. "After that game, everyone gave the Premier for loss. People were convinced, including me, that Liverpool would beat Leicester and we would not recover those seven points, but they tied," he said after winning the last Premier League with 98 points. Their 18 wins in 19 games in the second half of the season drove them to a title that now starts fading away after their bad start.
"I don't think about how many games we have to win. I know we can't lose any," Guardiola had said before Saturday's game, and although his team did not lose, they also did not add the three points and the goal of getting the third consecutive title of the Premier League becomes increasingly difficult. Shelvey's 88th-minute goal, precisely from a former Liverpool player, deprived them of the victory in Tyneside for the second straight season, leaving them 11 points behind the leader. City should return to the third place where they began the weekend if Leicester beats Everton, confirming the worst historical start for Pep.
Neither in Barcelona, ??nor in Bayern, nor in his previous three seasons with City, after 14 matchdays he had added so few points (29), had lost so many games (three) nor he was so far from the leader. "I'm not a wizard. I don't know if we'll catch Liverpool," he said after losing at Anfield to sit at nine points from the 'reds'. A disadvantage that has risen to 11 points for their defensive problems.
PEP ???? It's what we've lived the last four years. We found a way and today, we found it again but unfortunately, at the end, we conceded a goal— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 30, 2019
We could not score all the chances we had; they scored the two chances they had.
Sometimes it happens.
???? #NEWMCI #ManCity
The injuries - Laporte and Zinchenko are not available and Ederson, Stones or Otamendi have also gone through the infirmary - have caused their defense to suffer. The experiments - Fernandinho is already a central defender now - have led City to receive 16 goals in 14 games. They only got a clean sheet five times.
A year ago, after 14 games, they had only received six goals and in eight duels they had not conceded any, but in this campaign that difference in defense is reflected in the nine points less than they sum compared to the 2018-19 campaign, despite scoring more goals (39) than anybody else, having the highest possession numbers (64%) in the Premier League, and generating the most chances (224). "They have scored in their two shots," Pep said after the game, and this has also been a constant since City is the team that concedes fewer shots, but of the last 13 attempts on their goal, seven finished at the back of the net. In the same period, they shot 23 times scoring only six goals, so right now the Manchester team does not impose their dominance in the areas. The task for Guardiola will be to solve these problems to recover the illusion again.
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