Ilkay Gundogan blamed a congested calendar in a novel season for Manchester City’s failure to match the requirements they’ve set below Pep Guardiola after a 1-1 draw with West Brom dealt one other blow to their title problem. Gundogan appeared to have opened the floodgates on the half hour mark, however Ruben Dias’s personal purpose two minutes earlier than half-time proved pricey as City’s issues in entrance of purpose continued in a goalless second-half. City have received simply 5 of their opening 12 league video games of the season, a far cry from the mixed 198 factors they registered in two title-winning campaigns below Guardiola in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Even final season when ending distant runners-up to Liverpool, City scored 102 league targets, however the stale domination that has characterised a lacklustre marketing campaign was in proof all evening as they struggled to interrupt by means of West Brom’s deep-lying defence.
“We had great years where we played great football in the past so we set the level high,” stated Gundogan. “All over Europe all the big teams are struggling with the tight fixtures and it’s not going to be easier in the next weeks.
“That’s an reason it isn’t all the time as simple because the expectations individuals have for us. We usually are not machines however we additionally know when we’ve not performed our greatest sport.”
City could have moved to within three points of leaders Tottenham and Liverpool, who meet on Wednesday. Instead Guardiola’s men edge up to fifth on goal difference, still five points off the top.
“These video games it’s a must to win, we all know it, so we drop factors,” admitted Guardiola. “It’s not far-off the highest of the league, however it’s a must to win video games. Still we’re in early December and there are numerous video games to play.”
City enjoyed 77 percent possession and had 26 shots on goal, but not until a late flurry of crosses from Kevin De Bruyne produced two stunning saves from Sam Johnstone to deny Gundogan and Raheem Sterling were West Brom opened up.
“We created sufficient to win the sport. We did the whole lot however in the long run it’s a must to rating,” added Guardiola. “We must be optimistic that in the long run we are going to rating targets.”
West Brom had the first big chance of the game when the ball ricocheted off Joao Cancelo into the path of Karlan Grant and he forced Ederson into a fine save low to his left.
City’s probing was finally rewarded on the half hour as Sterling got to the by-line and his cut back was fired home from the edge of the area by Gundogan.
But the hosts shot themselves in the foot by conceding for the first time in seven games two minutes before half-time as they failed to clear a free-kick into the box and Semi Ajayi’s shot was deflected into his own net by Dias.
It was one-way traffic after the break as City set up camp in the West Brom half but lacked the imagination or pace to open the visitors up.
De Bruyne was the most likely candidate to produce the inspiration his side needed but twice Johnstone in the West Brom goal denied the Belgian with low saves to his left.
Guardiola introduced City’s all-time file scorer Sergio Aguero off the bench for the ultimate 15 minutes, however the Argentine’s lack of match sharpness after a collection of damage issues confirmed as he slashed extensive the kind of likelihood he has so typically buried.
Johnstone’s heroics in stoppage time to disclaim Gundogan and Sterling earned his aspect a worthwhile draw that strikes them to inside two factors of security.
Topics talked about on this article