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Guardiola insists long balls are not the solution

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City must improve after going down to a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal in their final pre-season game, but is glad they stuck to his style of play.

Sergio Aguero gave City a first-half lead in Gothenburg, but strikes after the break from Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom meant a late goal from Kelechi Iheanacho only proved to be a consolation.

Guardiola wants to see a significant improvement from his players after Sunday’s setback, but stresses that changing strategy and deploying long balls will never be a solution he supports.

“I saw many things that I like a lot,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is quoted as telling Sky Sports.

“Our pressing, our solidarity. I would have preferred to win the game for our confidence, but it’s not about whether we are ready.

“We made a few mistakes in our build-up as except for the second goal – that was the quality of the Arsenal players – the chances that we conceded were our mistakes.

“We have to improve that but if the solution was to play long balls, that would be easy. Four or five times building up we made clear chances.

“For example, in the last 10 minutes Aleix Garcia Serrano made good possession with Yaya Toure and Kevin De Bruyne and we created clear chances. 

“That is why we are going to work on that more and more because it is new for them.”

Guardiola’s first competitive game in charge comes at home to Sunderland when the new premier League season begins on Saturday.

Mon 8 Aug, 2016
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