Guardiola “suffering” for misfiring City stars

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola is at a loss to explain Manchester City's sudden lack of potency in front of goal despite a hatful of chances..

The champions have scored 102 times in all competitions this season but the goals appear to have dried up in the last two games, despite the team continuing to create a multitude of chances.

City had 13 shots on goal to Manchester United’s six in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final and 19 efforts to Tottenham’s three in their Premier League game in north London last week.

Yet despite all their dominance and chances, they somehow lost both those matches, although they still progressed to the Carabao Cup final where they will face Aston Villa, and they are still second in the Premier League behind runaway leaders Liverpool.

City boss Guardiola said: “I don’t know. I would like to find the explanation.

“Honestly, we concede few against the big clubs and we create a lot, but we miss a lot of chances. They arrive once or twice and score. We have to improve on that.

“Putting the ball in the net is the most difficult thing in football and we are going to try to improve. We scored so many goals and now we don’t. I don’t have an explanation.”

Given City’s past record and their continuing ability to dominate games, Guardiola is not overly concerned but he accepts “something is missing”, although he is not going to make wholesale changes to either his players or they way they play.

Guardiola, whose side host struggling West Ham on Sunday before their winter break, said: “It’s not about concern, I’m just sad for my players. I suffer for them because I know they want to do it.”

A home match against a West Ham side who are down in the relegation places and lacking in confidence could be just the spark City need to suddenly find their mojo again.