Pep Guardiola points finger at Man City stars after Wolves exploit weakness

Pep Guardiola points finger at Man City stars after Wolves exploit weakness
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gave credit to Wolves and admitted his team struggled to deal with transitions after the Premier League leaders lost at Molineux to surrender their unbeaten Premier League record.

City went behind in the first half through a Ruben Dias own goal before their opponents had registered a single shot on target. Julian Alvarez brought them level early in the second half, only for Hwang Hee-chan to restore the hosts’ lead.

Guardiola, who was sat in the stands for the defeat as a result of a touchline ban for three bookings, said his side lacked their usual fluidity in attack because they didn’t follow the processes for attacking a side playing a 5-4-1.

“We had our moments and not counting the last 10, 15 mins, because it was more difficult. We didn’t do properly our process, to attack with a little bit more fluidity and that’s why we struggled a little bit,” said Guardiola.

“In transitions, [Pedro] Neto was better than us, they beat us in that situation not because we were disorganised, we were in a position to defend well but a difficult game to play, they defend really well.

In explaining the processes that had gone wrong, Guardiola mentioned Dias and Kovacic and a need to occupy central defenders with their direct runs.

“When they defended that well and Kovacic and Ruben had to attack central defenders of their opponents and they didn’t do it, that’s why it was more difficult,” he said.

Nunes, who was replaced by Oscar Bobb at half-time, wasn’t spared by Guardiola either. ‘I needed more dynamic and I wanted more in the small spaces and Oscar is really good at finding those with the creativity he has.’

Erling Haaland had just one shot and 10 touches after being marked out of the game by Craig Dawson and Max Kilman.

‘It’s not easy when you have three players around you — a lot of players around him,’ said Guardiola.

Hwang’s winner was controversial given he was fortunate to escape a second yellow card late in the first half when bringing down Kyle Walker as he stretched for the ball, but Guardiola refused to pin the blame on referee Craig Pawson.

“Do you think I’m going to give an opinion about the referee?” he said. “I can be emotional on the touchline, here I’m respectful about the job.

“We didn’t lose because of the referee, today we didn’t win not because of the referee but ourselves. This is what is going on in the last time.”

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