There was shambolic defending on view for all to see at the Etihad on Sunday, as Leicester City ran out 5-2 winners over Premier League favourites, Man City.
Pep’s team were a joke defensively, an absolute joke.
I’ve written on here numerous times recently that the Man City defence isn’t up to scratch, and we seen the perfect example of it on Sunday.
Man City 2-5 Leicester City – How it unfolded
Despite going into an early lead from a 4th minute Mahrez strike, Man City were unable to capitalise on their great start.
The demise started for Pep’s team when Kyle Walker naively got tangled up with Vardy in the 36th minute, resulting in Vardy drilling in a penalty on the 37 minute mark.
From there on in, it continued going downhill for Manchester City.
Vardy then flicked in his second from a Castagne cross in the 53rd minute, before the Leicester striker won and converted another cheap penalty – to complete his hat-trick – in the 58th minute.
This time he relied on the less experienced Eric Garcia to make the clumsy challenge.
Things only got worse for Pep’s City
The demise continued for Pep’s men as James Maddison beautifully curled home Leicester’s 4th after 77 minutes, just 8 minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Then the comeback was on, as Nathan Ake heads home his first goal for Man City in the 84th minute.
Here we go, hold onto your hats for a grandstand finish.
But no, just 2 minutes later Benjamin Mendy gives away the 3rd penalty of the match to Leicester. And quite possibly the most stupid of all three.
Not having apparently seen what Vardy did twice earlier on, Mendy goes and gives James Maddison the opportunity to run across him and gain yet another penalty.
I don’t think Maddison, Brendon Rodgers and everyone connected with Leicester City could believe their luck.
Tielemans then stroked home the penalty, and it’s 5-2 and game over. Nothing more than both teams deserved.
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School Boy Defending from Pep’s City team
The individual errors that led to the Leicester penalties were amateurish at best. Some may say school boy.
I’m really at a loss to understand what the Manchester City players thought Jamie Vardy would do if they barge into him in the penalty area?
On two occasions Vardy achieved his aim, and then Maddison got in on the act later on.
That’s not a criticism of Vardy and Maddison, they played the situations brilliantly.
Both did exactly what any decent pro – such as Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling – would have done. It’s part of football.
From a Man City perspective, It’s one thing for Vardy and Maddison to run across the line of inexperienced defenders to manufacture penalties, but two of these incidents involved Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy.
Players who have been around for long enough to know better.
Also alarming from a Manchester City point of view should be Rodri’s interview.
While he may well have had some points about Leicester’s style of play, the facts are his team couldn’t deal with it.
Good teams – and players – find solutions to these problems, rather than moan about them!
Man City’s problems run deeper than this defeat
It wasn’t just the individual errors that hurt Manchester City, as was brilliantly highlighted by Darren Fletcher’s analysis on Match of the Day 2.
The former Manchester United midfielder was quick to point out that Guardiola played two holding midfielders. And yes, we could all see that.
The more relevant points that Fletcher made were that the tactics showed Guardiola doesn’t trust his back line.
Fletcher rightly pointed out that Guardiola only usually plays one player in the midfield holding role. So by playing the two, he showed he doesn’t trust the back line.
Fletcher also made the point that the Manchester midfield and front line didn’t defend well enough from the front. Leaving the back line exposed time and time again.
All this points to bigger problems for the blue half of Manchester.
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Latest Premier League Betting
All this has led to new Premier League favourites in the latest football betting.
Liverpool are now the bookmaker’s favourites to win the 2020/21 Premier League title.
Klopp’s men are now into 13/10, with Manchester City drifting out to 11/8 second favourites.
City did initially start the season as odds on favourites.