Wednesday 26 April 2017

Five issues Pep Guardiola must address as Man City humbled by Leicester

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero looks dejected following defeat to Leicester City
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero looks dejected following defeat to Leicester City

Manchester City were beaten 3-1 by title rivals Leicester in their first home game since announcing Pep Guardiola will take charge next season.

Here are five things the incoming manager might have learned from their performance.

1. Central defensive issues

Manchester City have looked vulnerable at the back for most of the season in the continued absence of captain Vincent Kompany. Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis have their shortcomings as a partnership and things have not looked much better when either have played with Eliaquim Mangala. They need Kompany back fit and Guardiola may want to look for a more reliable centre-back to partner him.

2. Yaya Toure conundrum

Toure, the driving force of Manchester City's midfield in recent seasons, still has many admirers and he is still capable of turning games, but evidence continues to build suggesting he could be on the decline. He certainly does not command games in the way he used to and was taken off as Manuel Pellegrini's side needed to chase the game. A younger replacement will be needed sooner or later.

3. A striker short

Hearts were in mouths in the first half when Sergio Aguero grimaced and limped slightly after taking a blow from a Leicester defender. Manchester City rely on their forward talisman for goals heavily and they cannot afford to lose him. With Wilfried Bony injured and facing an uncertain future, and Kelechi Iheanacho still finding his way, more back-up could be required.

4. Susceptible to counter-attacks

There were times in the game when Leicester seemed a class above Manchester City. The Foxes broke with speed and pierced the home back line on numerous occasions. After a period of consolidation from the visitors, it was then much the same early in the second half. Manchester City seemed unable to handle Leicester's speed.

5. Lacking an extra gear

The depth of Manchester City's talent is beyond doubt but they struggled to break down a team that had clearly done their homework. Leicester were stubborn in defence and stuck to their task with great dedication. It was difficult to crack them - but a side with title aspirations would expect to find a way.

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport