Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Gundogan: Expect more defensive tactics to stop Manchester City quadruple bid

SoccerNews in FA Cup 20 Mar 2021

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Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has warned his team-mates that opponents will try to derail their quadruple bid with negative tactics.

City claimed a 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday to reach the FA Cup semi-finals for the third season in succession – the first time they have achieved the feat since 1931-32 and 1933-34.

The victory, courtesy of goals from Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne, was hard fought as a defensive-minded Everton side packed men behind the ball, happy to surrender the majority of the ball to City. 

Indeed, Everton’s total possession of 25.9 per cent was their lowest since a fixture against Pep Guardiola’s side in March 2018 (18 per cent).

Midfielder Gundogan praised City’s patience against the Toffees and predicted matches of this ilk will become common as they chase an unprecedented clean sweep of trophies.

“There will be a few more games like this I think,” Gundogan told BT Sport.

“But we have to be ready for them. If you want to win trophies and fight for everything, you have to find a way to win.

“We don’t always make the best kind of football but it’s about staying in the game and finding the right moments, being patient.

“Everton did really well, they defended well and they are a great team, so it’s not easy. We knew that we could struggle before the game but we overcame it and we did really well.”

Gundogan has scored 12 goals in 2021, more than any other Premier League player in all competitions, as he bagged his first headed goal for City since December 2018 against Crystal Palace..

The Germany international, who has also netted in three consecutive matches for City for the first time, is relishing his current goalscoring form.

He added: “I just tried to be there waiting for the rebound. I think the timing was perfect – it was a great win. 

“I’m enjoying it at the moment, everyone put in the hard work. This is not a given, it’s not granted, so we need to make the right decisions.

“I think we struggled a little bit to find spaces in the first half. We weren’t all together in the right positions. We tried to stay in the game and thankfully it turned out well for us.

“The next target now is to come back healthier and in the best shape from the international break – and then having a big game at Leicester.”

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