Manchester City defeated AS Monaco 5-3 at the Etihad Stadium in the first-leg of their round of 16 tie on Tuesday evening but their defensive frailties is like “a golden fish that no hidden place”. And this is a crucial issue that must be dealt with if they are to remain competitive in the Champions League.
The Sky Blues defensive errors have made them conceded many avoidable goals and that has affected them in all competitions this season. Pep Guardiola’s side have suffered heavy defeat against the likes of Everton and Leicester City, as well as drawing Middlesbrough and Huddersfield.
City have not really had much problems with scoring but where they have been prevented from doing that, they have suffered defensively. They have kept just eight clean sheets in 25 league games despite being the fifth club with the lowest goals conceded in the Premier League this season.
The absence of Vincent Kompany has also added to their defensive woes. The central defence has not been able to find the perfect centre-back pairing with John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Aleksandar Kolarov all featuring at different times. Even Bacary Sagna and Fernadinho have also been drafted in.
Atletico Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte and Juventus veteran Leonardo Bonucci as well Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk are reportedly on City’s radar to bolster that area. Their goalkeeping troubles have also refused to go. Since loaning Joe Hart to Torino, Guardiola has not got it right in that area.
Though Willy Caballero has improved to some extent, a better and more experienced shot-stopper is still needed between the sticks for City. And that could be the reason for being linked with Gianlugi Donnarummai, Samir Handanovic and Ederson.
City should make more of defensive acquisitions when the transfer window opens in the summer.