Necessity calls for Manchester City as champagne football is put on ice | Jamie Jackson

The champions may need to grind out more results as they did against West Ham if they are to retain the title

Manchester City may have to play more of the bump-and-grind football that got them over the line against West Ham on Wednesday if they are to defend their Premier League title successfully. They hogged the ball but lacked edge in front of goal until Sergio Agüero’s 59th-minute penalty secured all three points. At half-time West Ham were holding City 0-0 and the memory rewound to Pep Guardiola’s pre-game declaration. Before the 11-game title run-in the manager said he wanted no excuses from his players – no citing fatigue or adjustments to the XI – if desire to defend their crown fell low.

Guardiola tested the second part of his stance by changing nearly half the side from Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, though with players such as Danilo, Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sané, Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gündogan drafted in he would have been confident of doing so with little or no dip in quality. The manager’s faith looked well-placed when Mahrez ghosted into the area early on, though his attempt lacked poise. He had said he would state afterwards whether City had met his demands and he described the performance as “very good”.

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Source: Football News
Link : Necessity calls for Manchester City as champagne football is put on ice | Jamie Jackson

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