Manchester City drop more points against Leeds United as doubts rise over their Premier League title challenge capability

On a rainy Yorkshire night at Elland Road, former champions Manchester City further dropped 2 points. The match finished 1-1 against Leeds United. The Citizens now lie in 10th place with a goal difference of -1, an unwanted stat record that was last held by manager Mark Hughes in August 2008.

Although the results have not shown promise so far, it is only the initial stages of the league. Even boss Pep Guardiola has refused to criticize his players, despite some glaringly obvious individual errors. But one thing is clear at the moment – that a team intending to fight for the title, simply cannot afford to keep performing and dropping points in this manner.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City and Luke Ayling of Leeds United react as the ball goes out of play during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road on October 03, 2020 in Leeds, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Where exactly is it going wrong for Manchester City at the moment?

For starters, the squad did not get the opportunity to undergo a full pre-season like usual. The number of friendlies are not just to absorb tactical details, but also build match fitness and technical understanding of the manager’s system ahead of important encounters.

In addition, there is that vulnerability around City that they just cannot finish opportunities when presented. And eventually, concede goals from absolutely avoidable mistakes. The fact that they have now faced 14 shots on target in 3 games, means the defence has not tightened up enough so far. Injuries and COVID isolation to several key players does not help the cause in any way.

(IMAGE CREDITS – The Independent)

What lies ahead for Manchester City?

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But, all is not lost just yet. The international break poses a period of self-introspection for Pep Guardiola and a golden opportunity to have a fully fit squad, come matchday against Arsenal on October 17.

The ideas are certainly in the right place, but the execution is currently lacking. Having treated this early phase of games as an auxiliary pre-season, Pep’s men have to go out there and start giving it their all – just like the seasons that have passed. And this remains the only way to reclaim domestic glory from the hands of current champions, Liverpool.

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Bhargav Gopal
The quintessential football aficionado who knows a thing or two about Economics. One can often find me reading detective novels with coffee when I am away from the sports world.

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