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Men's Football City manager Pep Guardiola to use first-half lapse in concentration as a learning tool for the rest of the season

PEP GUARDIOLA will make sure his Manchester City side learn from a first-half slump against Bournemouth on Saturday which saw the visitors work their way into the game, scoring an equaliser before half-time.

City eventually ran out 3-1 winners as second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan added to Bernardo Silva’s early strike, but Callum Wilson was left alone by Danilo and Nicolas Otamendi as he headed in Simon Francis’s cross, and this will show the league leaders they can still improve in certain areas.

Five of the six goals City have conceded this season have come in home games. It suggests there might be moments of complacency and Guardiola is keen to eradicate such lapses in concentration. You almost get the feeling he is glad these moments happen.

“In the last 20 minutes [of the first half] the game was flat, we were flat,” he said.

“But that is normal because we play a lot of games, and that’s why I’m delighted to win in that way.

“Maybe today we didn’t make 90 minutes but we did 75 so good. I think maybe in the future it’s going to help us do what we try to do, in 90 minutes.”

Guardiola singled out Leroy Sane for praise, and the German was a constant threat to the opposition down the left flank.

“I don’t know what Leroy ate [before the game] today, but maybe it will be on the menu for everybody before the next games,” quipped the City boss.

For Bournemouth there was the sense that if they’d given it a bit more, they may have been able to get something from this game against a rotated City line-up. 

They set up at 0-0 like they were defending a lead, so when they went behind it felt like there was nowhere to go. City let them back into it, but finished them off in the second half.

“I still don’t think we’ve fully delivered a performance that we’re truly capable of here,” admitted their manager Eddie Howe. 

“I don’t think we we looked too vulnerable though and had opportunities on the counter-attack and at set pieces.”

The Cherries looked more dangerous than many sides who visit Eastlands, and remain in the top half of the table despite the defeat.

They host Huddersfield Town tomorrow, while City will look to maintain their unbeaten start at Watford.


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