EPL

Next time we will score! - Guardiola confident Man City will put end to poor penalty record

By Sports Desk February 22, 2020

Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City will score from their next penalty after his side missed yet another spot-kick in Saturday's late 1-0 win over Leicester City.

Sergio Aguero stepped up in the 62nd minute after Ilkay Gundogan's shot hit Dennis Praet's arm inside the box, but he failed to beat Kasper Schmeichel.

City have now missed each of their last four Premier League penalties, with Aguero joining Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling in failing to convert from 12 yards.

But Guardiola, who has previously suggested goalkeeper Ederson could take over spot-kick duties, is backing City to end their hoodoo soon enough.

"We have missed four penalties in a row, but maybe we will score one when we need it to win something," he told BBC Sport. 

"The [opposition] goalkeepers are good too, but the next one we are going to score!"

Despite Aguero's miss, City took all three points thanks to substitute Jesus' strike 10 minutes from time.

Jesus had only been on the pitch for three minutes, but clinically converted after being slipped in by former Leicester star Riyad Mahrez.

"Whenever I go on the field I try to help my team-mates by finding space," Jesus told Sky Sports.

"Riyad has a lot of quality and I thought 'go' because I know he has the quality to give me the ball. He played a very good ball and I scored."

City head to Real Madrid on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with some momentum on their side following back-to-back victories.

"The preparation after 12 days off was good," Guardiola added. "We have played two good games and it's good to prepare for Madrid with these good opponents. 

"We are playing the kings of the competition so we will see. We will try to enjoy it and do our game."

Related items

  • Mourinho: I wanted to make 11 substitutions at half-time Mourinho: I wanted to make 11 substitutions at half-time

    Jose Mourinho says he wanted to make 11 changes at half-time in Tottenham's 1-0 Europa League defeat to Royal Antwerp, conceding that his side were deservedly beaten.

    Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn, Carlos Vinicius and Dele Alli, making his first start in over a month, were all taken off at the interval with Tottenham trailing to Lior Refaelov's first-half strike.

    Gareth Bale was next to make way on the hour-mark but the introduction of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane made little difference.

    And on the back of the chastening defeat in Belgium, Mourinho insists his fringe players can have no complaints about being overlooked for bigger matches.

    "I would have liked to make 11," he said of his decision to make a quadruple change at the break. "I didn't make five because I was afraid of a long 45 minutes without any changes to make. 

    "There's only one person to blame, and it is me. I had chosen the players to start. At half-time I tried to improve the situation. But it was not enough. The dynamic of the first half was there, the mentality was there and it's difficult to change. 

    "In the first half the game was very easy to play, lots of space. In the second half, we improved but then they played in a completely different way. It was very difficult. In the end, Antwerp got what they deserved and we also got what we deserved. 

    "It's a fair result. I'm always calm with it. The best team won and the worst team lost."

    Mourinho made five changes to Tottenham's starting line-up for the Group J clash ahead of a Premier League encounter with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

    Asked if any players put forward their case to start more regularly, Mourinho said: "Look, you know what our best team is. You know the same thing that I know and that everybody knows. 

    "But I think that the players, they deserve an opportunity. We have a big squad with lots of good players. It's my responsibility to give them opportunities. It's their responsibility to ask for more. 

    "Tonight, my future choices are going to be very easy. But again, there is only one responsible, not the players, it's my responsibility."

    Alli in particular struggled to get involved in the game during his 45 minutes on the field, losing possession 11 times, failing to muster any shots and attempting only 15 passes in the opposition half.

    "I don't want to analyse individually," Mourinho replied when asked about Alli's performance. "I don't like to do that, especially with you [the media]. 

    "It's fair to say that players with bad performances, they influence the team. But also a team influences individual performances. So it's not for me to individualise, and to bring some names to the table. 

    "You prefer to do that than myself. You always ask me why this player is not playing, why this player is not selected. Maybe now, you don't ask me that because you have the answer.

    "When you are a player with ambitions to be a first choice, and play in the most important matches, you have to show it.

    "That is an obvious thing. Everybody works the same, trains the same, learns the same, of course I expect. It's my entire responsibility."

    Tottenham did not manage a single attempt on target when chasing a goal in the second half, with the Belgian Pro League leaders holding on for a famous victory.

    "It's disappointing because I keep saying the team has to be a state of mind and you have to keep always every match to play well and to win," Mourinho said. "It's as simple as that. 

    "But it is more complicated, because you have to keep a certain motivational level. You have to be consistent. On Monday [against Burnley], we needed everything from every player. Of course it's frustrating we come here tonight and don't do the same."

  • AEK Athens 1-2 Leicester City: In-form Vardy strikes in Europa League victory AEK Athens 1-2 Leicester City: In-form Vardy strikes in Europa League victory

    Jamie Vardy continued his prolific goalscoring streak as Leicester City claimed a gritty 2-1 win over AEK Athens in Europa League Group G on Thursday.

    Vardy put Leicester ahead from the penalty spot with his 11th goal from his last 12 appearances in all competitions.

    Hamza Choudhury put the Foxes two up before the interval with a crisp finish before Muamer Tankovic got one back early in the second half.

    However, AEK were unable to muster an equaliser as Leicester chalked up only their third ever away victory in Europe.

    Leicester were awarded a penalty when Vardy went to ground following a touch by AEK goalkeeper Panagiotis Tsintotas after being put through by James Maddison.

    Tsintotas almost made amends when he got a hand to Vardy's spot-kick after he guessed correctly and dived to his right, but the ferocity of the strike saw it squeeze over the line.

    The alert Tsintotas then made a smart save at his near post shortly afterwards to deny Cengiz Under a goal on his first start for the Foxes.

    Brendan Rodgers' side were almost punished for some sloppy play at the back as first Kasper Schmeichel saved from Marko Livaja's header and then moments later the Croatian striker dragged a shot wide.

    However, the Foxes added a second shortly before half-time when AEK allowed a Maddison corner to bounce in the box and the unmarked Choudhury adjusted his body at the back post to stylishly whip the ball home.

    AEK pulled one back three minutes into the second half with a goal of equal quality through substitute Tankovic, who beat the Leicester offside trap and struck a low first-time shot beyond Schmeichel.

    Tankovic found himself in a similar position a couple of minutes later but this time he sent his effort over the crossbar leaving Schmeichel furious with his defence.

    His words had an impact as Leicester tightened up from that point and saw out the rest of the contest without further trouble.

  • Lille 2-2 Celtic: Lennon's side throw away two-goal lead Lille 2-2 Celtic: Lennon's side throw away two-goal lead

    Mohamed Elyounoussi's first-half double was not enough for Celtic as they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Lille in Thursday's Europa League Group H clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

    Celtic attacker Elyounoussi went some way to easing the growing pressure on boss Neil Lennon with his brace in the space of four minutes against the in-form hosts, who are now unbeaten in 10 games this season.

    Scott Bain kept out Jonathan David's penalty and Sven Botman hit the crossbar before the interval in what was looking like being a frustrating day for Lille.

    But a first victory away at French opposition in nine attempts since 1966 ultimately eluded Lennon's men as Zeki Celik and Jonathan Ikone struck in the second half to snatch a point for the Ligue 1 club.

    Elyounoussi pulled the strings for Celtic from the early stages, setting up Albian Ajeti for a goal that was disallowed for offside and another chance that his team-mate skied over.

    But the Norway international took matters into his own hands by firing the visitors ahead with a fine curling effort from 25 yards that left Mike Maignan stranded.

    The finish for Elyounoussi's second was just as crisp as he guided a first-time shot away from Maignan into the bottom-left corner after being spotted by Jeremie Frimpong.

    David was denied by Bain from the penalty spot after being felled by Shane Duffy and Botman clipped the top of the crossbar with a shot as Lille pushed for a way back into the game.

    And they were given a lifeline through unmarked Celik's finish at the back post, the full-back bundling the ball past Bain after a corner was flicked into his path.

    Celtic were under siege and a second goal followed eight minutes later as Yusuf Yazici's mishit shot fell kindly for Ikone to spin and fire past Bain, ensuring the points were shared.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.