Belfast Telegraph

Are Manchester City really strong in the tackle?

Pep Guardiola exposed a possible flaw in his footballing philosophy in the wake of Manchester City's 4-2 loss at Leicester when he revealed his disdain for tackling.

" I'm not a coach for the tackles. So I don't train the tackles," the Spaniard said.

Up against title rivals Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, City hit back from a 1-0 half-time deficit to claim a 2-1 victory.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how City coped with a side of the game their manager appears to have little time for:

5 MINUTES: Kevin De Bruyne makes no effort to get back to challenge Hector Bellerin as he charges up field and passes on to Alexis Sanchez. Nicolas Otamendi is wrong-footed by Sanchez's reverse pass and Pablo Zabaleta cannot get across to Theo Walcott in time to make the sliding tackle as the England international opens the scoring

9: Zabaleta is skinned by Alex Iwobi in midfield as Arsenal look to set up another attack but the move breaks down.

14: Aleksandar Kolarov wins the ball and a free-kick off Sanchez in City's final third.

15: Otamendi slides in on halfway to get to the ball ahead of Sanchez, but the Gunners keep possession.

16: Otamendi slides in to clear after a heavy touch from Francis Coquelin 25 yards from the City goal.

17: Otamendi gets a foot in to stop Nacho Monreal in his tracks as the Arsenal man looks to break into the area.

38: David Silva trips Coquelin as the Arsenal man is about to launch a counter-attack and takes a yellow card.

39: Otamendi flies into a challenge on Walcott on the edge of the area, which the forward hurdles to leave the defender out of the game, but City survive the danger.

43: Kolarov gets to a through-ball just ahead of Sanchez, holds off the Chilean and calmly cleans up.

51: A fired-up Toure wins the ball off Iwobi, but talks his way into the book due to his dissent at a throw-in not going his way.

55: Toure fights to win the ball off a dawdling Coquelin in Arsenal's final third, but the visitors survive.

58: Otamendi gets a strong foot in in the area to stop Arsenal getting a clear sight of goal.

62: Fernando thunders in to a tackle from behind, but wins the ball cleanly, setting up a move which finishes with Leroy Sane forcing a smart save out of Petr Cech.

80: De Bruyne hustles and harries Gabriel before going through the back of him as the Arsenal man plays the ball back to Cech and getting booked.

86: Otamendi is fooled by Mesut Ozil's quick feet and chops the German down, giving Arsenal a free-kick chance, which they cannot make the most of.

90+5: Fernando takes a booking for a blatant pull-back of Bellerin, almost the last act of the match.


From Belfast Telegraph