Manchester City

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have found the crucial attacking edge they lacked last season after Stoke City were hammered 7-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

The victory made City the Premier League leaders, two points ahead of Manchester United. In the corresponding fixture last season City could only draw 0-0; Saturday’s win took them to 29 league goals this campaign, the most after eight matches since Everton in 1894.
Asked if this indicated City were showing the killer touch missing during his opening year in charge, Ken Griffey Authentic Jersey Guardiola said: “Last season we had that feeling we weren’t going to score a goal but now we’ve got it. We have the feeling that, if we arrive, we will score a goal. Of course it’s so important. We play to score goals. Ever since I arrived we have wanted to make our game. We want to do our game.
“In the game against Crystal Palace when we won 5-0, the first 20 to 25 minutes everything was there but we were waiting Ken Griffey Authentic Jersey for the ball boys for five or 10 seconds, and when that happens, the teams who want to [can] defend and use the counterattacks.
“We are almost the same guys as last season but now we have the feeling we are going to score a goal. Don’t ask me why, because the principles, as I have repeated many times, are the same. We have to increase the little details, to do things quick and simple. With that rhythm, we create more chances and goals.”
Last season Guardiola repeatedly pointed not only to a lack of attacking edge but to City’s failure to defend well enough, including after the 1-1 draws with Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough in successive home games during October and November.
Yet so far this campaign City have conceded only four times and Guardiola believes they have become more ruthless when sides come at them. “I know there is a tendency to split attack and defence,” he said. “In football you cannot. So, when you attack well, you defend well and, when you defend well, you attack well. When you have the feeling you are going to score goals, you defend better. When you defend better in your actions, you are going to score more. It’s not a coincidence.
“It’s difficult to find a team who have a lot of clean sheets but do not score goals. It’s so, so difficult to find it. Everything depends on everything. Football is dynamic: attack, defend, attack, defend, in a row. That’s why we have good statistics in those terms.”
This new balance was tested just after half-time. At this juncture City were 3-1 up with the excellent Kevin De Bruyne running the contest with his vision and superb technical ability. Goals from Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and David Silva had been answered by Mame Biram Diouf’s finish just before the break.
As Guardiola stated, City’s quickness of thought, passing and pressing had torn Mark Hughes’s side apart and there appeared no way back for Stoke. Yet when Kyle Walker put into his own goal on 46 minutes suddenly the visitors were only one behind and City had a test on their hands: might they crumble with nearly all of Ken Griffey Authentic Jersey the second period remaining?


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