​It was a week that went from bad to worse for Manchester City on Saturday evening, as Pep Guardiola’s men relinquished a seemingly unassailable two goal lead at the Etihad Stadium to cross-town rivals Manchester United.

Needing just one win to secure the 2017/18 Premier League title in record breaking time, Man City succumbed to three second half goals from Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling (yes, that Chris Smalling),​ to gift Jose Mourinho’s men a 3-2 win.

The disappointing result comes after the Citizens were all but knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Premier League rivals Liverpool on Wednesday night. Pep Guardiola’s men went three goals down inside the opening 45 minutes, and – disappointingly – were unable to grab an all important away goal in the second half.

During the second half of both games one thing was apparent: City’s lethargy in the final third. At Anfield and at the Etihad Stadium this week, Guardiola’s men looked explicit fatigued and unable to find an extra gear when attacking.

This is seemingly not a coincidence. As pointed out by the Times chief sports writer Oliver Kay, Manchester City have been largely ineffective in the second half of games in recent weeks: 

Be it because of their recent UEFA Champions League and Premier League commitments, or their high intensity style of play, during the most crucial part of the season, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have seemingly ​​suffered from physical and mental fatigue.

Although they are undoubtedly set to win the Premier League this season, the Citizens’ poor second half performances will be a concern for Guardiola. At the tail end of the campaign, it seems that this all conquering City side may have just ran out of gas. 

 



Source link