In the 6:3 against RB Leipzig, Manchester City revealed weaknesses in the defence. Which Pep Guardiola already pinned on two players during the game.
ManCity have scored 16 goals in their last three home games. So it stands to reason when Guardiola says his side do not have a player capable of scoring 25 goals or more this season. That’s why he wanted to sign Harry Kane and, when that didn’t work, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Pity for the English champions should be limited, though, as they now have 118 million man Jack Grealish, who made his Champions League debut in the 6:3 against Leipzig and scored straight away. There is also Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Ferran Torres or Ilkay Gündogan.
Against RB, City proved once again that there are no limits to their fast forward passing machine. Sometimes Riyad Mahrez moves in from the wing, sometimes Bernardo Silva moves from the eight to the top. And when things aren’t going well and quickly, a standard situation (Nathan Aké) can help, as in the 1:0, or, as in the 5:3, a shot from distance (Joao Cancelo).
After the nine-goal spectacle, Guardiola effusively praised the beaten opponent (“They play all or nothing, all the time”) and was therefore “incredibly satisfied” with his players.
“Incredibly satisfied” was something Guardiola rarely looked except during the game – two players experienced it first-hand. During the second half, the Catalan grabbed both record signing Grealish and Mahrez and gesticulately scolded the two wingers for, as he later said, disobeying his half-time instructions.
Grealish prefers not to reveal Guardiola’s strategy
As Grealish himself explained, it was about defensive work, but the international did not want to go into detail “because he”, meaning Guardiola, “might want to use the same tactics at the weekend”.
Grealish, too, knows after just a few weeks in Manchester that Guardiola, who ousted Arsene Wenger from third place with his 87th Champions League win, is fond of not holding back from the public when something doesn’t suit him. “He always wants to,” Grealish opined. “And obviously he’s someone I’m going to listen to after everything he’s done in this game. So obviously he’s just passing on useful information.”