Pep Guardiola blames his 'horrible' tactics against Arsenal

Pep Guardiola blames Man City’s poor first-half performance against Arsenal on his ‘HORRIBLE’ tactics… before hailing ‘intelligent’ Bernardo Silva for switching from left back to right wing in win over Arsenal

  • Pep Guardiola has turned attention on himself after Man City’s win over Arsenal
  • The City manager blamed his tactics for his side’s poor first-half showing
  • Guardiola also reserved special praise for City winger Bernardo Silva 

Pep Guardiola may be one of the all-time greatest ever managers but proved that even the best can get it wrong sometimes as admitted by himself on Wednesday evening.

City re-established themselves as the Premier League’s team-to-beat following their 3-1 victory over title contenders Arsenal, inflicting a first home league defeat of the season on the Gunners and leapfrogging them to top spot.

Second-half strikes from Jack Grealish and top goalscorer Erling Haaland guaranteed victory after Bukayo Saka’s penalty cancelled out Kevin de Bruyne’s early effort. 

City were forced to rely on an improved second showing having originally struggled in the opening 45 minutes, with the former Barcelona man Guardiola admitting his tactics were to blame for his side’s first-half performance.

‘My tactics. Because I decided something new and it was horrible,’ Guardiola told Amazon Prime Video.

Pep Guardiola has blamed his tactics for Manchester City’s poor first-half against Arsenal

Man City leapfrogged Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table after securing a 3-1 victory

Arsenal made silly mistakes that City took advantage of in their away victory at the Emirates

‘Second-half we were more like we are. We let them play in the build-up, our shape we let them play, Jorginho, Xhaka, Zinchenko, they find the runners outside. 

‘We adjust a bit, Ruben was good going more aggressive to Odegaard, we play more and Erling helped us a lot, he used his power to keep the ball. In first-half they had one more man in midfield, we struggled to control.

The hosts dominated for large exchanges with City’s 34% their lowest possession in a game since the Spaniard first took charge of the side in 2016. 

However, a much-improved period following the interval showed why the reigning top-flight champions are favourites to clinch the title at the end of the season.

Arsenal’s fearful frontline at times threatened to unhinge City’s defence but was unable to find the same connections that have proved so effective throughout the course of the season.

Bernardo Silva was praised for his ‘intelligence’ after starting the game at left-back and finishing in attack

Guardiola reserved special praise for Silva as he stated that the ‘few players’ could do what he did

One reason for their struggles was the performance of the adaptive Bernardo Silva who was singled out for specific praise by his manager at full-time.

Silva identifies as a right-winger but has thrived in a more central role under Guardiola, but against Arsenal popped up in a multitude of positions, starting the game as a drop-in left-back when City were out of possession and finishing the game in attack.

The 28-year-old Portuguese was superb at recognising his defensive duties and nullifying Saka’s impact on the game. Guardiola praised his star’s intelligence in the aftermath of victory as Silva’s importance was highlighted.

‘Bernardo is so intelligent and doesn’t lose his temper. We put Bernardo in the middle, not stupid enough to put him left-back, man-to-man they have the extra player there, he is so intelligent and adapted immediately to correct everything. He started left-back and finished right-winger, few players can do that.

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