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Pep Guardiola revisited by 'Fraudiola' taunts as Man City pay the penalty

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 28/09/2020 Stuart Brennan

Penalty pointers

Pep Guardiola was dubbed “Fraudiola” and openly mocked by some critics the last time Manchester City were on the receiving end of a Leicester drubbing.

The Blues boss has comprehensively rammed those words back down the throats of those snipers since then.

He was ridiculed for saying he did not coach tackling – which was hardly a revelation. Premier League coaches should not have to coach players how to tackle.

But the three penalties City gave to the Foxes were a sign that, while tackling practice would be pointless, a few pointers about resisting the urge to commit to rash challenges - especially when facing the pace of Jamie Vardy - might not go amiss.

Kyle Walker, Eric Garcia and Benjamin Mendy were all guilty of lapses – going hell for leather into a challenge with someone as quick as Vardy is asking for trouble. He is always likely to get there first, so you have to account for that and hold back on the urge to commit.

Delayed reaction

Fans have been quick to compare a dreadful performance to the worst moments of last season.

But, while Pep Guardiola said last week there could be “no excuses”, there were some mitigating circumstances, at least.

Gallery: Pictures: Wolves vs Man City in the Premier League (Manchester Evening News)

They had no cutting edge without Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus – Raheem Sterling is not a spearhead of the attack, for all of his goals last week.

City faded badly in the second half at Wolves, but they had won the game by that point. This time, they looked like a team which is either still jaded by their short break, or rusty from lack of proper preparation, in contrast to a sharp and focussed Leicester who ran away with the game.

Palmer teed up

If Guardiola follows the same formula as last week, Cole Palmer will make his City debut at Burnley on Wednesday night.

The 18-year-old Wythenshawe lad was on the bench yesterday, and six of the seven subs at Wolves last Monday started against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup three days later – the exception was Nicolas Otamendi, who Guardiola said had “niggles” but, it seems, was actually on the verge of a move to Benfica.

Stones doubts

After his half-and-half performance at Wolves, the jury was still out on John Stones. He was composed and precise in the first half, then wobbled in the second, a microcosm of his City career to date. But the fact that his body then let him down, when City are struggling for numbers, felt like a big moment.

He was injured on two or three occasions last season, as well, and that all led to the general feeling that his time at City was coming to an end.

Pep Guardiola has said Stones would be a fixture in his City squad for years – that prediction is starting to look a little pale.

Foul replay

With consistency a hot topic when it comes to refereeing decisions, an incident early in the first half will not have escaped the notice of City fans.

Raheem Sterling chased a through-ball which his pace, despite being second favourite to Jonny Evans, gave him a chance of getting. As it was, Sterling accidentally clipped the heel of the Leicester defender as he sought to sprint clear, and a free kick was rightly given.

If only the referee had been so clear-eyed when Moussa Dembele did the same thing to Aymeric Laporte in the Champions League quarter-final last month.


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