If Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City (Man City) to even remotely duplicate their triple triumph from the previous season, he has work to do since it is difficult to win anything with an inconsistent defense.

Man city Weekness

The statistics that are typically associated with Erik ten Hag’s struggling Manchester United rather than Man City—eight goals conceded in three games, with the lead given up six times in those contests—are the reality facing Guardiola’s team at the moment, as Tottenham ended their three-game losing streak with a 3-3 draw at the Etihad on Sunday.

At City, these are peculiar times. The last time Man City led in three straight league games and lost any of them was in November 2009; Guardiola’s team did that against Chelsea (4-4), Liverpool (1-1) and now Spurs. This is the first time they have gone three games without winning in the Premier League since March-April 2017.

Man CIty

Furthermore, problems could worse before improving. Wednesday, Man City, who are one point behind Aston Villa in fourth position, will visit the club led by Unai Emery, who has won their past seven home games. Guardiola will be reminded that his club lost three straight games when the Spain midfielder was sidelined earlier this season. City will take against them without Rodri, who received a one-match suspension after receiving a yellow card against Spurs.

Although replacing Rodri with Kalvin Phillips, John Stones, or Rico Lewis in front of the back four will solve the one-game problem, more effort will be needed to resolve the defensive issues than just changing starting lineups.

Man City Problems

To begin with, Man City has a problem at left-back. Josko Gvardiol, a center-back playing left-back, was often troubled by Brennan Johnson’s speed down the Spurs right. Son Heung-min scored the opening goal for the visitors after he outmuscled Jérémy Doku in the City left channel, leaving Gvardiol unable to recover after a counterattack. Though he has been City’s most reliable defender since joining from Benfica in 2020, Rúben Dias has also battled for form at center-half. Additionally, the fact that Stones has missed much of this season due to injury has affected Guardiola’s team’s stability.

Guardiola addressed the problem during the City team’s match against Spurs, saying that his group has to figure out how to become more consistent. 

Man CIty

Guardiola said, “People advise you to worry about the goals you forfeit.” Naturally, but how many opportunities do we give up? Very few. It is true, but all right, let’s go on. This is a difficult scenario; it is the first time we have seen one in which you are performing well but the results are not showing.

We performed well in my first season, but we were unable to get wins. The only advice I received was to just keep playing at the same level when you are performing at our level. You outscore your opponent in goals, generate more opportunities, and exhibit greater creativity. Simply perform well and deliver well. Sometimes in football, we make mistakes, but we never give up,” Guardiola continued.

Maybe City is just going through a difficult stretch of matches against teams that are ready and equipped to attack and cause the champs trouble. Villa are in the same division as Chelsea, Liverpool, and Spurs; but, following City’s trip to Villa Park, their schedule gets less daunting with matches against Everton, Luton, Crystal Palace, andSheffield United prior to December 31st.

Although Guardiola’s team is unlikely to play against forwards as good as Son or Johnson during that stretch of games, opponents will be prepared to use the same strategies in the rematches later in the season because they have revealed Guardiola’s team’s weakness at the back.

Man City

Chalanges

As such, this season presents a challenge for City that they would not have faced in the previous one: opponents that believe they can beat them. Tottenham maintained that belief in spite of losing twice at the Etihad and their injury problems, and they were rewarded with their equalizer.

The boys didn’t give up until the very end, and they did some incredible work from Brennan Johnson, who sent in a fantastic cross inside the box. Dejan Kulusevski, who is huge and clearly doesn’t typically score headers, was also a big part of the team, Son said on Sky Sports.  We will gain a lot from this stage in the season, in my opinion. For the players’ and the team’s confidence, I think it’s crucial.

The other rivals can get confidence from that ambition as well. Cities are susceptible to exposure and have weaknesses.

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