Can Manchester City Hold Their Nerve?

15 Dec

This is a guest post from Jon Hawkins.

For the first time this season, Manchester City suffered a loss in the Premier League. It was west London club Chelsea who inflicted the first league defeat on Pep Guardiola’s men and all eyes will now be on the Citizens to see how they respond.

The club now sit second in the league behind Liverpool, who claimed top spot after a 4-0 win away at Bournemouth. Despite being second, City are still the favourites to be crowned as the English Premier League winner, at a price of 4/11.

With an important fixture at home to Liverpool to kick off their January fixtures, can Manchester City hold their nerve in the meantime and not fall further behind the new Premier League leaders?

The Chelsea Result

Chelsea ended Manchester City’s 21-game unbeaten streak in the league, which stretches back to April, by defeating them 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. In doing so, they allowed Liverpool to sit at the top of the Premier League and the Reds are now in the driving seat as we close in on the second half of the season.

City now need to bounce back next weekend when Everton visit the Etihad Stadium. In their encounter with Chelsea, the defending champions were dominant, but were unable to convert their impressive display into all three points.

Without the injured Sergio Aguero, City lacked that crucial potency up front and he could have made all the difference if he were fit for this match. With only four shots on target from 14 shots, City clearly had the chances, but couldn’t take them. If City had their natural goal scorer up front, then who knows what could have happened?

Moving On

Pep Guardiola must make sure the team don’t forget this painful defeat, but at the same time, they must also make sure that they don’t let it get to them. It’s rare to go undefeated in a league season and as long as City bounce back in impressive style, this defeat will become next week’s fish and chip paper.

January is not only a crucial month because of the clash against Liverpool, but it also provides Pep Guardiola with the chance to improve his squad. Riyad Mahrez was the only significant signing the club made last summer and it could be the case that Pep looks to bring in a new striker should Aguero pick up more injuries as the season progresses.

 Although they have the young Brazilian Gabriel Jesus at their disposal, with him severely lacking in form, another recognised striker could be just what City need to go the distance once again. The Citizens have yet to successfully defend a Premier League title and this defeat will have dented those odds. But all is not lost and Liverpool are hardly perfect. They have already dropped points against City, Chelsea and Arsenal and have the potential to drop further points as the games build up.

There’s a reason why Pep Guardiola is considered to be one of the greatest managers in football at the moment, now is his time to prove it.

One Response to “Can Manchester City Hold Their Nerve?”

  1. Steve 16/12/2018 at 7:41 pm #

    City now know what it takes to win titles so the question should be can Liverpool hold their nerve because city are a machine and will keep winning

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