Pep Guardiola: Man City are struggling, it’s my job to find a way to win

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Manchester City are winless in their last four Premier League matches after Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss at Aston Villa; City boss Pep Guardiola admitted the champions are “struggling” at present; the suspended Rodri was again a telling absence for the visitors

Speaking after the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims he needs to find a way for his City side to win games when Rodri is unavailable.

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Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City are currently “struggling” after their 1-0 loss at Aston Villa on Wednesday night left the Premier League champions winless in their last four league matches, down in fourth place and six points off the pace of leaders Arsenal.

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Leon Bailey’s deflected strike earned Villa a deserved 1-0 win over City, while also maintaining their perfect home record this season, and Guardiola said the credit belonged to Unai Emery’s team on the night, but admitted he had much to think about to get their title defence back on track.

“The better team won,” Guardiola said. “Aston Villa was better than us. We struggled. It was really difficult. They are well organised, fast and physical players, they are able to control many aspects. That is the reason why they are up there. They played good football and we could not do it.

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“It is my duty, it is my job to find a way to come back. Many years now we are together we found a way, we are able to find a way to win games, to find a way to do it.

“I give credit to Aston Villa, first of all. They do it. The first half we struggled to follow what we spoke [about].

Speaking after Aston Villa’s 1-0 win over Manchester City, Pep Guardiola claims that Unai Emery’s side are capable of winning the Premier League title.

“[We said] something at half-time [and] it was much better, the team had another dynamic but we didn’t find the players to make the assist, the cross, the pass.

“We arrive there, but we didn’t have the feeling that ‘oh we are going to do something’. And we miss it.

Pep Guardiola and Unai Emery shake hands at full-time

“Now that we are struggling we have to change the dynamic, win as soon as possible, Luton, Crystal Palace, to change our mind and continue to win there.”

The absence of the suspended Rodri was again telling for the visitors – this was the fourth match of the season the Spain midfielder has missed and City have lost all four.

Aston Villa moved up to third in the Premier League after beating Manchester City, but Villans boss Unai Emery said it will be

While there are other key players out – Jack Grealish, Jeremy Doku and Kevin De Bruyne – City’s reliance on their holding midfield player is obvious.

“Of course he’s [Rodri] important, but today we tried with Manu playing there, with John playing there,” added Guardiola.

“John [Stones] made an incredible effort after a long time [out]. He’s back and played good.

Pep Guardiola speaks with Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez during Man City’s 1-0 defeat at Villa Park

“Without Rodri we could not win against Liverpool and Spurs, of course Rodri is so important, but when Rodri is not there we have to find a way to do it.

“Today is simple, the better team won, you have to accept it. In football it happens. I said [to the players], ‘I know you tried, I know you want it, you have proven it to me many many times’.

Aston Villa

Arsenal

Saturday 9th December 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

“Now the results are not good, that’s why I have to see the games, reflect, and see how we try to do it.”

Man City’s next six fixtures

December 10: Luton Town (A) – Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 2pm

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