Man City realize what Pep Guardiola feared was impossible – Simon Bajkowski


Manchester City won their third Premier League title in four years in early May, but the club were restless.

Pep Guardiola used a lengthy interview ahead of the Champions League final to talk about the need to refresh his squad. “You have to shake, you have to move,” he said. “With the same guys it’s almost impossible.”

In his annual sermon delivered via club media, President Khaldoon Al Mubarak optimistically expressed expectations of a replacement for Sergio Aguero arriving in the summer transfer window and said sitting down would represent complacency.

However, a blatant misreading of Harry Kane’s situation left a lot of eggs on City’s faces, a number of departures from the club never materialized, and although they broke the UK transfer record to sign Jack Grealish for £ 100million it was widely believed they hadn’t made the reshuffle they intended to make in the squad.

Guardiola said this week that the only alternative to finding a solution was to sit in a chair and cry for not having a striker, but on Saturday it was Graham Potter who might as well have cried after becoming the last to take off against this remarkable team. .

Brighton started the game fourth, conceding just five goals in eight games; City overtook them by three in 31 minutes, and the score did not flatter them at all.

With Phil Foden in the lead and Bernardo Silva pulling the ball and everyone on a rope, the Blues were simply unstoppable as they clubbed the home goal and clinically countered with devastating effect. After inflicting the only loss of the season on Chelsea and equaling Liverpool in a thrilling game at Anfield, this was the last declared victory for a team in exceptional form.

Of course, this setup is nothing new for this season. City played without a recognized striker for much of last season with Sergio Aguero injured and Gabriel Jesus out of form, with considerable success as they played in their first-ever Champions League final.

The question of City’s need for a clinical sniper also hasn’t gone away just because of this start – the time may still come.

But there is no question that this team seems to have refreshed and improved despite the addition of Grealish, a player who started regularly but has not come close to being one of the most influential players in the world. ‘team. Brighton’s scorers have been with the club since 2009 (Foden) and 2016 (Ilkay Gundogan) while top player Bernardo joined in 2017.

City are months away from a successful season, but with the form they are showing, fans have every right to dream again. Opposition teams that have had a season to prepare for facing a team without a striker seem to have a harder time stopping them than ever.

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