City fail to cash in again

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates his late equaliser against Everton.
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates his late equaliser against Everton.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Despite priceless equaliser for 10-man hosts against Everton, Guardiola rues missed chances

LONDON • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed fears that his team's scoring problems remain an issue, after they drew 1-1 with Everton in their opening Premier League home game.

Wayne Rooney put Everton ahead in the 35th minute on Monday and City had Kyle Walker controversially sent off before half- time. However, the hosts hit back to level through substitute Raheem Sterling's 82nd-minute volley.

City regularly struggled to kill teams off last season, drawing seven home games in the league, and when asked if his side's latest display had brought to mind their travails from the previous campaign, Guardiola replied: "Yes. We created the chances in the first half but we did not finish them.

"We created three or four chances before their goal. Our amount of opportunities on target or close to target was good. We were there all the time and we never gave up.

"All you can do is try to create the chances. Maybe one day it will change. I think last season we were the team who made the most chances. But okay, we will improve.

"We are here for the results. At the end, we have to try to analyse the performance."

NOT CLINICAL

We created the chances in the first half but we did not finish them. We created three or four chances before their goal.

PEP GUARDIOLA, Manchester City manager, on his side's inability to score more goals from the chances they create.

For the second time this season, the Spaniard started with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus up front, but he withdrew Jesus at half-time as part of the reshuffle that followed Walker's home-debut dismissal.

Booked for sliding in on Leighton Baines, the right-back was shown a second yellow card by referee Robert Madley two minutes later following a fairly innocuous collision with Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Guardiola, however, refused to comment on Madley in his post-match press conference.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman also had reason to rue one of the referee's decisions after he, too, lost a player to a harsh second booking.

Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off in the 88th minute after sliding in to tackle Aguero but replays showed that the midfielder had won the ball.

While Koeman acknowledged that Madley had a "difficult job", he suggested Schneiderlin's dismissal had been on the cards from the moment Walker trudged off.

"I was in a good position and in my opinion (Schneiderlin) played the ball," said the Dutchman, who gave a debut to record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson albeit as a substitute.

"But away against City, he's sending off one player of City and in a difficult situation, you know what the referee will do then.

"A second yellow and it's red. You can expect it."

Everton ought to be disappointed they could not make it a second successive win following their 1-0 opening-day win over Stoke.

Rooney's 200th top-division goal made him only the second player after Alan Shearer to reach that number in the Premier League era.

Koeman added that he is keen to add more depth in defence and attack even after spending more than £100 million (S$174.79 million) on eight players during the summer.

"We are looking for a left-footed central defender, maybe as back-up for Leighton Baines," he said.

"Also a striker because I think even with the talent of Dominic and (Sandro) Ramirez, look at other squads. They have that number of players.

"If we need to make the next step we need a striker in as well."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2017, with the headline 'City fail to cash in again'. Print Edition | Subscribe