City's Struggle Continues: Guardiola's Team Falls to Villa
|Erling Haaland of Manchester City in action with Pau Torres of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park on December 6, 2023 in Birmingham, England.(Image-Getty)
Draw, draw, draw and lose.
If you can't say the critical moment, you can say the bad form? At least if the club's name is Manchester City. It is a little surprising for the 'Citizens' to be without a win in four consecutive matches in the English Premier League. Even more surprising, if Pep Guardiola's team took only two shots at the opponent's net! Such was the game played by Guardiola's team in City's 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa last night. Villa has also topped City's points table, which has been without a win in four consecutive matches in the league.
Guardiola's side are accustomed to possession of the ball and attack after attack. City players tried to do just that with 53.9 percent possession of the ball. But not this time. Arling Holland-Julian Alvarez managed to take just two shots at Villa's goal post. However, luck also played a role in Villa's goal in the 74th minute. Leon Bailey's shot from the top of the box deflected off the feet of City defender Ruben Dias. In the end, Villa capitalized on this goal to put City behind. Unai Emery's team is third in the table with 32 points in 15 matches. Manchester City is fourth with 30 points in the match.
Villa, who have won 14 consecutive matches at home in the league, will set a record of 15 consecutive home wins for the first time in their 149-year club history if they win one more match. The statistics of Villa taking 22 shots against City shows that Emery's team came to the field to win. The experience is also new for Guardiola at City.
This is the record for the most shots against his team after becoming the coach of the Etihad club. At no point in the match did it seem like City would be able to score. A win or draw for Guardiola's side would have been cruel to Villa. Because, in the match, the hosts played good football and had a chance to win by more than one goal. The club's Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz also hit the post for City.
Guardiola's side have never had so few shots on goal in a match in Europe's top five leagues. It's hard to believe that Guardiola's team won only 3 of the last 9 matches in the league and won the treble last season. Rodri's absence may be hurting Guardiola's tactics. City were unbeaten in the last 43 matches played by the Spain midfielder. But in all four of City's losses in all competitions this season, Rodri was out of action due to a ban.
City coach Guardiola praised Villa after the loss and said, 'Today (yesterday) Aston Villa played better than us. Especially in the first half.' Now we are suffering a bit.' Villa coach Emery said after the win, 'We are thrilled but we have to keep the balance. Now thinking about the Arsenal match on Saturday...we know where we are in the table. Clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are behind. So the work will be very difficult.