English Premiership

'What are tackles?', asks Guardiola

2016-12-11 13:38
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Leicester - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola shrugged off his team's woeful defending in a 4-2 defeat at Leicester, insisting that tackling opposing players was not high on his list of priorities.

Premier League champions Leicester claimed victory at the King Power Stadium with Jamie Vardy ending his 16-match club goal drought with a hat-trick.

Leicester were 2-0 up after just five minutes and 3-0 ahead by the interval.

In a snapshot of City's problems, Vardy completed his hat-trick with 12 minutes left after latching onto John Stones' poor back-pass.

Guardiola, though, promised only minor tweaks despite statistics revealing his side failed to win a tackle in the opening 35 minutes.

"I am not a coach for the tackles. I don't train for tackles. What I want is to try to play well and score goals. What are tackles?," said the City boss.

"You have to win the duels, that is true. But normally when you play well you win tackles but after four minutes, at 2-0, the mind of the players is 'what is going on? What happened?'

"It is another aspect of football but in the end we are not going to win or lose because of the tackles."

City have won just four of their last 15 games in all competitions -- having won Guardiola's first 10 in charge.

Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito netted in the final 10 minutes on Saturday to put a gloss on the scoreline for City.

However, they are now four points behind leaders Arsenal in the title race and will be seven points off the pace on Sunday if Chelsea beat West Brom.

Despite his problems, Guardiola said he will not betray his attacking style.

"I have to improve, but I want to play the football I feel because of course it is simple to say 'concede fewer goals and score more'," he added.

"The way we played in the season, except a few times, was quite good. I can't say we didn't play with the intention to create but after four minutes it was 2-0 and then we conceded the third.

"I try to control games, control so we concede few goals. Here I cannot do that and I have to analyse why."

"So I have to control the little differences between other leagues but the idea is what I believe and I believe it will be good."

Leicester began the game just two points outside the relegation zone following a difficult domestic season.

Their domestic troubles have been in stark contrast to an impressive Champions League campaign which has seen them make the last 16.

"To get points is important for the table but this is just a little step because now we have to think about the next match against Bournemouth and then Stoke," said coach Claudio Ranieri.

The Italian also hailed Vardy after the England striker's first hat-trick for Leicester and first in any match since 2012 when he was playing for Fleetwood against Ebbsfleet in non-league football.

"Vardy played so well and it is important for him to get back," said Ranieri.

"He never told me 'I need to score', never. But I know scorers need to score goals.

"I said to all my players it is important what we do for the team and everybody made a fantastic performance. And of course Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani did something different.

"I don't know if Vardy can go on a run but I hope so -- if he scores, we get the points."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 26 August 2017
AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Crystal Palace v Swansea City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v West Ham United, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Southampton, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Watford v Brighton & Hove Albion, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Leicester City, Old Trafford 18:30
Sunday, 27 August 2017
Chelsea v Everton, Stamford Bridge 14:30
West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City, The Hawthorns 14:30
Liverpool v Arsenal, Anfield 17:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 09 September 2017
Manchester City v Liverpool, Etihad Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur, Goodison Park 16:00
Leicester City v Chelsea, King Power Stadium 16:00
Southampton v Watford, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Bromwich Albion, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
Stoke City v Manchester United, Bet365 Stadium 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.