Thursday, January 20, 2022

Guardiola labels City´s first half ´one of the worst this season´ despite record-breaking Newcastle

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Dec 2021

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Pep Guardiola labelled Manchester City’s first-half performance in their record-breaking 4-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday as “one of the worst we have played this season”.

City scored twice before the break as Ruben Dias headed in after a defensive mistake from Newcastle, before Joao Cancelo smashed into the top corner.

Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling netted in the second half to give the scoreline a comfortable look.

The victory saw City record their 34th league victory of 2021, establishing a new record for the most top-flight wins by a team in a calendar year, but Guardiola was not pleased with the display before half-time.

“A good result, not a good performance,” Guardiola said to the BBC. “We were lucky, but Newcastle did not defend well for the first goal and a brilliant action from Joao Cancelo for the second goal.

“The first half was one of the worst we have played this season and [the] second half was much better.

“We played better with the ball, gave players more touches but were losing balls in the first half. We were calm at half-time and spoke about what we should do.”

The four goals scored also took City to 106 for the year, two more than their previous best, and Guardiola hailed his side’s consistency.

“Records show the consistency we have as a team, it is not winning titles or finals but it is winning and winning,” Guardiola continued. “Records are there to be broken and happy to have them.

“I didn’t rotate today, I decide the best team, we need a different base for the players and now we have seven days until the next game.

“Hopefully, Leicester are getting better with a lot of COVID cases so I will take a decision on the team.”

City’s 44 points ensure they will sit top of the tree on Christmas Day – they have gone on to win the title in the two previous campaigns in which they have done so (2011-12 and 2017-18).

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