Pep Guardiola’s Body Language Reveals How Vulnerable Manchester City Is After Losing To Manchester United

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Pep Guardiola pointed to Stuart Atwell’s temples as his Manchester City teammates surrounded him. The City manager wanted his team to keep their cool as the temperature rose at Old Trafford after United had just equalized. They didn’t do it..

Instead, a win that was within 12 minutes of being secured by City turned into a defeat and a potentially crushing blow in the title race. Guardiola would spend the majority of the game arguing with fourth official Robert Jones. Guardiola was only a couple of yards away when Erling Haaland was denied a late penalty. He had struggled to conceal his frustration with his team, and now he was struggling to conceal it with the officials.

After a chaotic second half, Guardiola shook hands with Erik ten Hag and marched straight over to Stuart Atwell. He drew Ederson and Joao Cancelo away from the debate before taking the lead for his side. Guardiola was animated, but he had been all afternoon.

He appeared to be a manager struggling to keep it all together, which is an apt metaphor for a team struggling to keep it all together. It’s too early for the cracked badge and ‘City in Crisis’ talk, but there is clearly concern about how this team is performing right now..

They simply haven’t been good enough, and aside from about 20 minutes in the second half, they don’t deserve to win this derby.

Even if the equalizer was unlucky due to the contentious offside call, they were caught on the break for the winner and defended poorly. They’d lost their grip.

They had been within a whisker of winning it just four minutes before. Guardiola pointed to his bench after Jack Grealish’s header found the back of the net. Is it praise for an inspired substitution or an emotional reaction to an exhausting afternoon? In any case, it was a fleeting emotional high..

On a chilly day in Manchester, the Catalan had wanted to keep his hands in his pockets as he patrolled his technical area, but that was becoming increasingly difficult as the first half progressed.

City started reasonably well but regressed in the first 45 minutes, and by halftime, it appeared they were hanging on. Marcus Rashford squandered two good chances, the second coming from a stray pass from Kevin De Bruyne..

Pep Guardiola's Body Language Reveals How Vulnerable Manchester City Is After Losing To Manchester United

The Blues had a difficult time getting anything going. With United man-marking their midfield options, including Anthony Martial, who was blocking a passing lane to Rodri, they were limited in their options and build-up was difficult. There was angst in both the away end and the dugout..

To try to get around the problem, City would frequently send Erling Haaland into midfield to receive the ball, but it didn’t always work. When City did get the ball, they were sloppy with it.

Guardiola slapped his thighs near the end of the first half after an aimless Bernardo Silva flick conceded possession, then waved his arms in frustration when Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden played careless passes in the final third to end promising attacking situations.

Guardiola had become a tense figure on the sidelines. There’s nothing unusual about this, but it’s frequently accompanied by enthusiastic clapping and encouragement. That didn’t seem to be the case this time..

The City manager has become increasingly critical of his team in public recently, and he predicted their dreadful performance at Southampton in midweek. The worry was that, as bad as that display was, it wasn’t unique. City have been poor at the Etihad recently, losing to Brentford and Everton, and they do not appear to be the slick machine we have grown accustomed to seeing.

That inconsistency was on display for 90 minutes at Old Trafford. They were terrible in the first half, controlled the game for about 20 minutes after halftime, but then crumbled under pressure late in the game. All of this added up to a defeat that could see them fall eight points behind Arsenal at the end of the weekend.

Guardiola’s rage at the officials was understandable, but his frustration on the sidelines seemed more telling. His team isn’t on board at the moment, and he can’t figure out why.

Published on: January 15, 2023. at: 9:03 am

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