English Premiership

Zabaleta calls for ruthlessness from City

2016-11-07 19:51
Pablo Zabaleta (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Pablo Zabaleta believes Manchester City need to show a sharper cutting edge if they are to win the Premier League this season.

The Citizens failed to move to the summit of the table after Sergio Aguero's 150th strike for the club was cancelled out by Marten de Roon's last-gasp header in a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough over the weekend. It is their third disappointment in their last six games and Zabaleta knows they will need to do better to win the title.

"We dominated all three games," he told the club's website.

"Against Everton it was the same thing. They only had one chance, we missed two penalties and a few chances.

"Against Southampton, it was probably not the best performance, but today it's the same thing as Everton. Especially in the first-half, we did a really good first 45 minutes.

"Then in the second-half, that chance for Aguero and the one for Kevin (De Bruyne) , it was a shame they did not score from them because then the game would have been over.

"But when you don't kill the game off, in the Premier League you cannot stop going until the last minute because we can always concede goals from crosses and things like that and it was a great cross and header."

The Argentina international highlighted the effect of City's 3-1 victory against La Liga champions, Barcelona - which he believes drained Guardiola's side physically and emotionally.

"When you have a game like that in midweek, which is so emotionally and physically draining, it is hard," he added.

"We saw the problem in the second half when we dropped a little of our intensity.

"But we were still controlling the ball. Middlesbrough pushed a bit more in the second half, but I can't remember too much chances for them. Maybe Negredo and then the goal.

"We are so disappointed because we have dropped six points playing at home. It's something we would be worried about if we were not creating chances or were conceding too many goals.

"To win those games, maybe if you have 10 chances, you have got to be more clinical to secure the win and that's how we were against Barcelona. We took our chances on the night and it made the difference

"I have noticed it is becoming more competitive because clubs have even more money to spend to improve their squads and that means you never have an easy game in this league," he concluded.

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31 January 2017
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Middlesbrough v West Bromwich Albion, Riverside Stadium 21:45
Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadium of Light 21:45
Burnley v Leicester City, Turf Moor 21:45
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v Chelsea, Anfield 22:00
01 February 2017
West Ham United v Manchester City, London Stadium 21:45
Stoke City v Everton, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Hull City, Old Trafford 22:00
04 February 2017
Chelsea v Arsenal, Stamford Bridge 14:30
Everton v AFC Bournemouth, Goodison Park 17:00
Hull City v Liverpool, Kingston Communications Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Sunderland, Selhurst Park 17:00
Southampton v West Ham United, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City, The Hawthorns 17:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough, White Hart Lane 19:30
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