Guardiola grapples with Man City's struggles; vows to find 'solution' after shock Aston Villa defeat (WATCH)
Despite Pep Guardiola maintaining his belief in Manchester City's capabilities, the loss against Aston Villa has dropped the defending champions to fourth place, trailing six points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Following Manchester City's unexpected defeat at the hands of Aston Villa, Pep Guardiola finds himself grappling with a four-game winless streak, a rare occurrence in his managerial career. Despite maintaining his belief in City's capabilities, the loss has dropped them to fourth place, trailing six points behind league leaders Arsenal. Guardiola acknowledges the need to address the team's struggles and find solutions to regain their winning momentum.
Wednesday night's match saw Aston Villa emerge victorious with a lone goal from Leon Bailey, exposing vulnerabilities in the defending champions. The scoreline, in this case, flattered City, especially as they attempted only two shots throughout the game—an unprecedented occurrence in Guardiola's senior management career.
Guardiola refutes claims that City's motivation has waned since their treble-winning season, reiterating his belief in the team's capability to secure a fourth consecutive title. However, the recent string of draws and defeats, culminating in the loss to Villa, raises concerns about City's form and ability to maintain their dominance in English football.
The absence of midfielder Rodri, suspended for the Aston Villa game, has been felt keenly by City. Guardiola acknowledges Rodri's importance but emphasizes the need to find ways to win even in his absence. City now faces the challenge of closing the six-point gap with Arsenal and returning to the top of the league, a position they are more accustomed to.
Guardiola remains resolute in his commitment to finding a solution to City's current struggles. He acknowledges the team's difficulty in finding the right passes and movements during the Aston Villa match but highlights the second half improvement. As City heads to Luton for their next fixture, the manager emphasizes the need to adapt and overcome challenges to regain their winning dynamic.
"Aston Villa played better," he said. "The first half we didn't move in possession and the second half was much, much better and we had chances, but we struggled to find the pass and movements in the right moments."
"After the deflection [for Bailey’s goal], we have scored four or five goals with deflections so it is what it is and we have to accept Aston Villa was better and go to Luton," the City boss added.
"Rodri [who missed the game due to suspension] is an important player of course but when he is not there we have to find a way to win without him. Six points [off the top] and we would prefer to be top of the league but we made three draws and lose today," he added,
"In these years we have found a way to win games but we struggled a bit and we have to find a way. It is my job to find a solution. The dynamic changes by winning games. When a team is better you have to recognise it," Guardiola concluded.