Man City boss Guardiola defends high defensive line despite shipping five goals at home to Leicester
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has defended his high defensive line despite shipping five goals at home to Leicester last weekend.
Guardiola's side capitulated after taking the lead in the contest, with Jamie Vardy netting a hat-trick and James Maddison and Youri Tielemans also getting their names on the scoresheet.
City's midfielders were found wanting as Leicester beat their high press time and time again, executing the same game plan which also worked to perfection for Lyon in the Champions League quarter-finals last season.
Guardiola, who took in successful spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich before moving to the Etihad, has seen his sides record thebest defensive record in their respective leaguesin eight of his 12 seasons in management, but the Blues are now looking far more susceptible to counter-attacks.
Despite familiar issues at the back threatening to derail City's latest title bid, the Spaniard has no plans to ditch a system which has served him so well inthe past.
"The high line hasalwaysbeen like this for me," Guardiola told Sky Sports. "My teams have conceded the fewest goals playing 40 metres away from our box. I've always believed the further you are from your goal, the less chance you have to concede.
"We have to control the counter-press as a team, we have to improve playing against the counter-attack. We have to have more passes to have more control in the game but I don't see it as a big issue right now. We didn't lose against Leicester because of the counter-attack.
"Football has changed in the last 10, 20 years; defenders need to create, to play - it's not just at the 'big' clubs; look at Brighton, how they encourage their defenders to build - but they must defend, they can't make mistakes."
The ex-Barca head coach has taken steps to bolster his defensive ranks by bringing in Ruben Dias from Benfica, and he is expecting the £62 million ($80m) centre-back to make a big impact at the Etihad.
"We knew all about his personality before we tried to buy him," Guardiola said ahead of a trip to Elland Road to face newly-promoted Leeds United on Sunday.
"He's not just a player with skills, he's a natural leader - you have to be to be captain of a team like Benfica, one of the greatest teams of all time in Europe, at 23. In a short time, he'll be captain of Portugal too.
Source : goal.com
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