Pep Guardiola let out a deep snort after realizing his side would receive a rare free week before traveling to Selhurst Park at Crystal Palace.
The rest served Guardiola’s side eventually, and City got back into action with a 1-0 win in south London. However, the defending champions had to rely on a second-half penalty from Erling Haaland to cross the line and cut the deficit to Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
Any future free weeks depend on City’s success in the Champions League and FA Cup. However, here’s what lies ahead for Guardiola’s side.
Guardiola was so concerned about the threat presented by RB Leipzig in the transition that City nearly collapsed into a caricature of possession-mania in the first leg.
It worked to some extent, as Leipzig didn’t attempt their first shot of the game until first-half stoppage time, but the slump crept into City’s game after the break, giving Jusko Guardiol – nicknamed Pep because of their similar nicknames – the chance to cancel Riyad Mahrez’s opener. From a corner kick in the second half.
Without the complication of away goals, the winner-takes-all at Etihad midweek.
Many opposition managers don’t have the luxury of taking their team to a faraway land where a statue of them sits outside. But that is the fate that awaits Vincent Kompany when Burnley travel to the Etihad in the fifth round of the Championship. FA cup.
The Clarets fly high at the top of the Championship, playing possession-based football which is a stark contrast to the approach that Sean Dyche has embraced for many years (with great success to be emphasized).
While Mikel Arteta is currently ahead of Guardiola in the Premier League, can the Catalan save one of his protégés?
Only one manager has achieved more than seven career wins against Guardiola in his entire senior managerial career. Jurgen Klopp beat him 12 times.
Klopp has had two of those wins this season alone, and he’s leading Liverpool to winning the Community Shield against City in July as well as a Premier League victory at Anfield in October. That league win threatened to reignite Liverpool’s title but the Reds will go into this competition after the March international stop involved in a loss to fourth place – although that doesn’t mean Klopp can’t add to his winning tally.
On one of the few nights Southampton lived up to the noble billing Nathan Jones gave himself Manchester city in the Carabao Cup. And Guardiola admitted his team had been comfortably outclassed. “The better team won,” he quipped, “they were better.”
Jones is, of course, no longer at St Mary’s training center – although his replacement Robin Seales has recorded more Premier League wins in his first three matches (two) than Jones has in his entire tenure (one).
Less than three years ago, Leicester became the first team to score as many as five league goals against a side managed by Guardiola away from home. It may not seem like a very long time ago, but the fact that Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick that day adds some chronological perspective.
Veteran Vardy mustered just one Premier League A goal in a poor individual season amid a disappointing group campaign for the Foxes. However, City had to rely on a stunning free-kick from Kevin De Bruyne to put Leicester ahead when the two sides played an even match at the King Power Stadium.
A month before Roberto De Zerbi was appointed to the post BrightonThe Italian manager was photographed eating alongside Guardiola. There is a deep mutual respect between the pair and Guardiola insists: “His influence in England will be enormous.”
When they first faced each other in October, De Zerby’s side beat Brighton 3-1, but caused their hosts a myriad of problems and limited City to just 48% of possession. This is the only time Guardiola’s team has had one less ball in the Etihad this season. Get ready for another captivating hour in April.