Pep Guardiola: Man City manager defends system after defeat at Leicester

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Pep Guardiola: Man City manager defends system after defeat at Leicester

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola defended his team’s system after a 4-2 defeat by Premier League champions Leicester City.

Guardiola started with a back three but reverted to a four-man defence when his side trailed 2-0 after four minutes.

The Spaniard said: “It is not about the system. We defended well with these players at the beginning of the season.

“Now we have to stand up and analyse what happened, especially mentally to encourage the players to step forward.”

England striker Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick in Leicester’s stunning win to end his 10-game run without a Premier League goal, while Andy King also netted.

Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito scored late consolation goals for a Manchester City side who have lost back-to-back league games for the first time under Guardiola.

They have won only four of their past 15 games in all competitions, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said he would not change the team’s style.

“I want to play the football I feel,” said Guardiola, whose team are four points adrift of leaders Arsenal.

“I cannot say we played badly or didn’t play without the intention to create.

“Always I try to control the games so we concede few goals, in here I cannot do that and I have to analyse why.

“I want to win games, I don’t want to lose games. I feel what I feel and in the Premier League there are some special things, but the pitch is the same. What I believe is good and will be good.”

Manchester City failed to win a tackle in the first 35 minutes at the King Power Stadium, but Guardiola played down the statistic.

“The second balls is a concept here in England, I’m not a coach for the tackles so I don’t train the tackles,” he said.

Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy was critical of their tactics.

“That’s as good as I’ve seen Leicester this season, it was like the Leicester of last season. But Manchester City didn’t half help them.

“Kolarov was supposed to be playing as a third centre-half but he played so far forward, he left John Stones isolated.

“Pablo Zabaleta was playing in a weird in-between position and it didn’t look like he knew what he was doing.

“Kevin de Bruyne appeared to be at left-wing-back. The communication and lack of defensive line was pretty bad. Kolarov was playing his own game going forward so often. They gave Leicester so many opportunities to attack them. It could have been more.

“Fifty changes they’ve made this season. It’s nice to build relationships and have some familiarity. You can’t keep changing players.”

Guardiola defended £50m summer signing Stones, whose mistake presented Vardy with the opportunity to score his third goal.

“Today, except the last goal, he made a good performance. Central defenders is just defending, put the ball long, but what we want is a little bit more, not just defending.

“I’m not disappointed with my players. When I need to tell them something I will tell it to them. They are professional and old enough to know what happens.

“Hopefully in the future we can improve.”

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said “it was the true Leicester” that had won the game.

“We played smart, slowed down the tempo. Everyone knows what we do but it is important to score two goals very early,” said the Italian, 65.

“This is our strength. We can’t keep possession often, our strength is to play fast, find a solution.

“I told my players the result is always important but we had to fight till the end.”