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Sunday 22 January 2017

Pep refuses to tackle City problem

A disappointed City boss Pep Guardiola watches his side get soundly beaten by Leicester
A disappointed City boss Pep Guardiola watches his side get soundly beaten by Leicester
Jamie Vardy

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admitted his side do not work on tackling after watching them slip to defeat at Leicester.

City have won just four of their last 15 games - after winning their first 10 under Guardiola - following a 4-2 defeat at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Jamie Vardy's hat-trick secured the Foxes their first Premier League win since October as the defending champions moved four points clear of the relegation zone.

City, who have kept just two clean sheets in 15 league games this season, were 2-0 down after just five minutes and failed to win a tackle in the first 35 minutes.

But Guardiola remained defiant over his philosophy despite City's wobbles continuing.

He said: "It's typical here in England when they (talk) a lot about the tackles. I'm not a coach for the tackles. So I don't train the tackles. What I want is to try to play good, score goals, arrive more.

"What's tackles? Yeah, you have to win the duels, that's true, but normally when you play good you win a lot of tackles. But after four minutes, 2-0, in the mind of the players they say, 'Wow, what happened?', it's not easy for them.

"Yeah, it's another aspect of football, but we're not going to win or lose (because of) the tackles." Vardy and Andy King scored inside five minutes before Vardy made it 3-0 before half-time and completed his hat-trick following a John Stones mistake.

Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito pulled goals back in the final 10 minutes but Vardy's goals - ending a 16-game drought - won the game for Leicester.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri said a post-Porto inquest helped to inspire the reigning Premier League champions against City.

Vardy was left at home for Wednesday's 5-0 Champions League defeat in Porto, when Ranieri made 10 changes, which sparked a dressing room discussion about how to revive their form after just one win from eight games.

Confidence

"We spoke a lot about everything but this time the words go in the right direction, not only mine. The players contributed," Ranieri said.

"We must be upset with our performance (in Porto) because it wasn't good enough and the fans are always behind us. It's important to say 'we are here'.

"We can tell it's a turning point in two or three months, now it's too early. For this reason I want to wait for the next two matches. It's important the players feel better, with more confidence because we can do this.

"Now, forget the Champions League and put our brain on the Premier League."

Leicester were 2-0 up after five minutes against City when Vardy drilled past Claudio Bravo and King scored from distance.

Vardy rounded Bravo for his second goal with just 20 minutes gone and then completed his treble with 12 minutes left after latching onto John Stones' poor backpass. He had failed to score in his previous 16 club games but Ranieri was relaxed over his form. "He played so well, never he told me he needed to score. Never," he said. "Although I know the goalscorer needs to score goals."

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