close
Thursday December 02, 2021

Guardiola hails his ‘so solid’ defensive crew

By Pa
January 10, 2021

BIRMINGHAM: Pep Guardiola believes cutting out the “stupid mistakes” in defence has been the key to Manchester City’s upturn in form. Since a surprise 5-2 thrashing by Leicester in September, City have conceded just nine goals and kept 14 clean sheets in 22 games in all competitions.

That has helped City recover from an indifferent start to the campaign in which they dropped points in five of their opening eight Premier League games. The key to their revival at the back has been the form of summer signing Ruben Dias and a revitalised John Stones, who have formed a strong partnership.

Manager Guardiola, whose side host Championship Birmingham in the FA Cup third round this weekend, said: “Except the game against Leicester when we were so naive, (conceding) three penalties unnecessarily, in the rest of the games it was really good how solid we were, how (few) chances we conceded.

“We cannot deny that lately the back four is so solid. It is a big help for everyone, and everyone has helped incredibly. The back four don’t make stupid mistakes. Even one against one, blocking shots like Ruben or Stones — they were brilliant.

“Everyone is so committed and involved and that helps us. It is important to maintain in most of the games zero in our goal, because we know from the quality we have, especially in the middle, we are able to create chances to score goals.”