Pep Guardiola pinpoints Man City improvement from two fixtures

Pep Guardiola saw improvement from his Manchester City players against Wolves in a test they had twice failed earlier in the season.

City’s coach had been disappointed at the way his team had performed in home matches with Southampton and Crystal Palace. Both opponents set up to frustrate City and exploit any errors on the counter-attack, and left the Etihad with a draw and a win respectively.

Wolves posed an even more difficult version of the same challenge for the Blues, not only possessing more quality on paper and having more experience of such a defensive set-up but showing through their theatrical playacting that they would go even further to disrupt the game.

City managed to keep their cool though, and while the award of the penalty that brought their only goal was controversial they had other chances and would surely have kept attacking the Wolves goal with more intensity if they hadn’t taken the lead.

It took until second-half injury time for Wolves to have a shot on goal — a moment where City dropped their standards as a result of briefly replacing reason with emotion, as they let the urgings from the crowd affect them.

However, Ederson comfortably tipped Max Kilman’s header over the bar to notch his 100th clean sheet and ensure City’s sixth straight win in the league that keeps them a point clear of Liverpool at the top of the table.

“In these types of games when teams come to defend and expect episodic action, you cannot do mistakes. We did it with Crystal Palace. Southampton we did not play good and that’s why it happened but against Crystal Palace we did mistakes and believe me they are waiting for that,” said Guardiola.

“For example, Leeds will be a completely different approach, completely. We dropped five points last season against them – five, being champions, two or three fixtures before the end of the season. It will be completely different.

“But when these teams come to wait and wait, to try to play but wait and wait for the right moment, you have to be patient. You cannot make mistakes and today we didn’t. We were really good. With 11, they could not run, they did not do one shot on target with 11.

“At the end [we conceded a shot on target], because we didn’t press good, we dropped and we played with emotion, it’s the last minutes, 1-0, the game’s almost over and that happened. But we created enough chances and clear ones to score more goals. We didn’t do it and at the end the result, sometimes these kinds of games happen during the season.

“Now we come back on Tuesday, with our people against Leeds, I’m pretty sure they’ll enjoy to come, it’ll be sold out and we are going to do a good game.”

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