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Why does Manchester City perform so poorly in penalties?

Manchester City has everything we need to prepare for world dominance. With probably the best young player in the world in Phil Foden, elite playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, lightning goalscorer Erling Haaland, and an abundance of talent, Manchester City has access to everything in football.

Not scoring a goal from 12 yards out. Although Pep Guardiola’s team is ruthless and effective in open play, they struggle with penalties, fluffing their lines when given the most straightforward chance to score alarmingly.

Penalty Record Under Guardiola

In their 0-0 tie with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, Manchester City’s dismal penalty track record was in the focus. By the time the penalty kick was given, striker Erling Haaland had been substituted, and Kevin De Bruyne was sitting on the bench.

Why does Manchester City perform so poorly in penalties?
credits – rte.ie

Mahrez was the obvious choice to take the penalty at that point, but Gregor Kobel deflected the Algerian’s strong, centre strike. Mahrez now has two failed penalty attempts after failing to convert in the last goalless draw with Copenhagen. Under Guardiola’s leadership, City have missed 25 of their last 80 penalties, after previously having difficulty without a trained spot-kick specialist.

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Guardiola had previously complimented Mahrez as the team’s finest penalty taker in December 2021, along with Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and Rodri as possible backups. Raheem Sterling used to be on the penalty spot but left for Chelsea in the summer.

With the addition of Haaland, Manchester City now has a viable alternative for penalties, and he has already converted two of them this year in victories over Brighton and West Ham.

Why does Manchester City perform so poorly in penalties?
credits – theathletic.com

Manchester City and Missed Penalties

The most frequent culprit of missed penalties under Guardiola is Sergio Aguero. The former striker from Argentina missed eight shots in all, including a critical one in Tottenham’s Champions League quarterfinal defeat, and even whiffed two shots in the same match in a Champions League qualifying match in 2016.

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The second time Manchester City missed two penalties in a single game when Guardiola was in charge was in October of the same year when Maarten Stekelenburg denied Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne on consecutive attempts. The next worst from the spot, missing six times when playing for Guardiola prior to joining Arsenal, although Mahrez has struggled with form over the past several months.

About the Main Penalty Taker

The controversy around taking penalties at the Etihad has been resolved with Haaland’s arrival because he will always be on the field. No one will be taking the ball away from the Norwegian anytime soon because he has already scored twice this season from the penalty spot and is now on the verge of breaking all kinds of goalscoring records following an incredible start.

Why does Manchester City perform so poorly in penalties?
credits – 90min.com

Before Haaland’s arrival, Mahrez had stated that he intended to continue to be the main player on corner kicks, but had also added that he is “open” and “not particularly selfish.” Although Mahrez is highly unlikely to have converted his final penalty for Manchester City, there isn’t much of a question given his 50% record this season compared to Haaland’s 100%.

Read: Barcelona out of Champions League for 2nd straight season as Inter beat Viktoria Plzen


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