Pep Guardiola compared Cherries’ offensive tactics as “similar” to Champions League side Tottenham Hotspur, after dispatching of Scott Parker’s men 4-0 at Etihad Stadium. Jefferson Lerma’s own goal rounded off a comfortable afternoon for the Premier League champions, who led 3-0 at half-time courtesy of strikes from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden. Discussing his side’s victory,
Pep Guardiola said: “The team did a really good performance against a team that is incredibly well structured defensively. But just not defensively, offensively as well, because they have good patterns for the build-up, to attract you, to drag you in the short passes, and afterwards they link perfectly with their strikers mainly, but sometimes with the wingers and after they keep the ball, make a switch of play. Quite similar movements like Tottenham try to do. And defensively they defend so, so deep and so narrow, you have to go outside. Then in the second half when they don’t want to attack, they don’t want to press, it’s more just being patient.”
Cherries boss Scott Parker spent two years as a player at Spurs, before returning for a spell coaching their under-18s, before moving to Fulham in 2018.
On Erling Haaland, Pep Guardiola is confident that Manchester City will find ways to get the best out of Erling Haaland in games where teams play a low block at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola said: “I won’t take more balls to him. He cannot drop because there are five players there and spaces are tight so you have to adapt the way they want to play from how the opponent defends. If they press high we will create more chances for him. Just in that position, in those one or two actions, we have to look at him. In this type of defences you have to play with a striker or maybe two because you have to attack left-right, right-centre right-left inside and behind when the space is minimal. At the right moment when Joao [Cancelo] or Kevin [De Bruyne] go inside, that is the right time for movement. But it is coming, it is a question of timing, in my career many times we play teams like that and we always find a solution to break it. The most important thing is that many other players score goals because the attention from the opponents will be for the run for [Ilkay] Gundogan, run for Kevin, the other ones. Erling will get more space and it is a question of a little time.”
Asked if Haaland takes City to another level, Guardiola smiled and said he is already more than happy with the level his players are showing, but continued his comments that the squad must develop ways to get Haaland more involved in games like against Bournemouth.
Pep Guardiola said: “I am really quite satisfied for the level we have. The level is the quality of the players. It is similar to when we arrived but we know each other much better and are now training just for the little details. We have to adapt and need a little time. I am Erling Haaland, I have three players here, two players in front of me, it is difficult and no space behind because they are in the 18-yard box. It is a question patience and in the right moment we will find it.”
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