Guardiola’s disappointment in Manchester City’s performance

Sharper finishing is all that is required to take Manchester City to the next level, manager Pep Guardiola said after his side's 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

Guardiola's cavalier approach came under scrutiny after City fell to a 3-1 defeat at Monaco last week that saw them eliminated from the Champions League on away goals after a 6-6 aggregate draw.

Sergio Aguero's 69th-minute equaliser meant City emerged with a point from Sunday's ding-dong battle with Liverpool, but Guardiola said his forwards' lack of ruthlessness was holding the team back.

"When you score goals, after that the game is in our hands and you have more control," he said.

"We have clear chances in front of the goalkeeper and we don't score goals. That's why you cannot compete with the top teams.

"To achieve that target, you have to be clinical."

Aguero's strike, from Kevin De Bruyne's superb right-wing cross, cancelled out former City player James Milner's 51st-minute penalty.

City squandered a glut of chances late on, with Aguero particularly culpable, but despite identifying his side's profligacy as a key failing; Guardiola said there was nothing he could do to improve it.

"In my career I was a football player 11 years and I scored 11 goals. One goal a year," he said with a smile.

"So can you imagine what advice I can say to Sergio and the other guys about scoring goals? I don't think so.

"I think the managers can (coach) the defensive, the high pressing, the build-up. Every manager has his own things.

"But the box is the box. How you defend one cross is the quality because you are good at headers. When you score a goal it's because you have that talent."

That City avoided defeat also owed much to an alert defensive display by oft-criticised centre-back John Stones, who produced two important blocks either side of half-time.

"John Stones has more personality than all of us here together in this room. More balls than everyone here," Guardiola told reporters at the Etihad Stadium.

"I love him. Under pressure, the people criticise him, so I am delighted to have John, with all the huge amount of mistakes he has."

Guardiola said City's enterprising display, so soon after their disappointment at Monaco, made it "one of (his) happiest days as a manager".

"More than ever I want to help this club," he added.

"I don't know if I will be able to do that, but I am willing to help this club, if they want to stay with me, in the next years to make the next step forward."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp retorted drily: "He's Spanish. They're more emotional than the Germans."

Victory would have carried Liverpool above third-place City, but they remain a point behind them in fourth place, having played a game more and with fifth-place Manchester United closing in from below.

They might have left with all three points had Adam Lallana not miscued horribly from a Roberto Firmino knock-down, taking an embarrassing swipe at fresh air, but Klopp defended him.

"Immediately after the game Adam said sorry to me and I thought, 'Why?'" he said.

"I know why he thought he had to, but he doesn't have to because his performance was outstanding again."

The result means Liverpool have avoided defeat in the 10 games they have played against the other members of the top six this season.

Although mindful not to overplay the achievement, Klopp said it was "a really important sign".

"There's one outstandingly consistent side (Chelsea) this year and they will be champions probably and that's well deserved and all the rest fight with all they have for the Champions League," he said.

"We are one of these sides and that's good. If we do it, it's a success and if we don't do it, we'll be disappointed.

"But we won't stop working or believing in this project."

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
DANCING LEOPARDS TACKLE STARS: Can Kenya prevent DR Congo from whipping with Wazekwa’s ‘Fimbu’?

The Congolese are a proud people. Like the moniker of their national football team, the Leopard, which does not feast on a prey it did not kill, the Congolese like the choicest of drinks, food, fashion, music and eh... you guessed right. Women.

KENYA TAKE ON THE WORLD: Chase for top honours on today at World Cross meeting

At exactly 2pm today, the athletics world is expected to temporarily come to stand still as the 42nd World Cross Country event starts at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda.

Kakamega, Sinyolo retain titles as other giants flop

East Africa rugby 15s champions Kakamega High School put up a spirited fight to beat unrelenting Chavakali 12-5 in the final as the Western Region Secondary Schools Term One games ended yesterday in Mumias.

Victor Wanyama leads well-wishes to Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama has wished Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman a speedy recovery after the full-back was stretched off with a broken leg against Wales.

Chelsea hope to scare off Real Madrid with new contract for Eden Hazard

Chelsea are planning to offer Eden Hazard a new contract in a bid to fend off interest from Real Madrid, according to the Mirror.

Chelsea will reportedly battle Man United for Griezmann

Chelsea will battle Manchester United for Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann in the summer.

More Stories
DANCING LEOPARDS TACKLE STARS: Can Kenya prevent DR Congo from whipping with Wazekwa’s ‘Fimbu’?

The Congolese are a proud people. Like the moniker of their national football team, the Leopard, which does not feast on a prey it did not kill, the Congolese like the choicest of drinks, food, fashion, music and eh... you guessed right. Women.

Chelsea hope to scare off Real Madrid with new contract for Eden Hazard

Chelsea are planning to offer Eden Hazard a new contract in a bid to fend off interest from Real Madrid, according to the Mirror.

Chelsea will reportedly battle Man United for Griezmann

Chelsea will battle Manchester United for Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann in the summer.

Wilshere keen on a return to the Emirates

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is keen on a return to the Emirates this summer - especially if Mesut Ozil leaves the club.

Wenger set to sign a two-year deal

Arsene Wenger has held further talks over his future this week as he is set to commit to a new two year contract.

Former Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov set for shock return to English football

Former Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov could be set for a sensational return to English football as he is set to join Salford City.

Deschamps refuses to be drawn on exiled Benzema

A day after Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema demanded talks with the France coach over his ongoing international exile, Didier Deschamps flatly refused to discuss the matter.

England-based pair give Ivory Coast win in Russia

England-based pair Jonathan Kodjia of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha fired Ivory Coast to a 2-0 win over Russia in a friendly at Krasnodar on Friday.

2018 World Cup South American qualifying results - collated

Results from 2018 World Cup South American qualifiers on Thursday:

How Jay Jay Okocha overcame poverty to become a Superstar

The Bolton Wanders cult hero Jay Jay Okocha interviewed by Betty Kyallo