Manchester City Pep Guardiola on Phil Foden and RB Lepizig
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Gary Neville has continued questioning Pep Guardiola’s insistent use of Bernardo Silva as a left-back after Manchester City lost ground in the Premier League title race on Saturday. Silva started a third successive game in defence as the reigning champions slumped to a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest.
Guardiola has started using four forwards in a 3-2-4-1 system that sees the Portuguese playmaker drop into left-back out of possession.
After wins against Arsenal and Aston Villa, Man City lost ground at the weekend as the Gunners restored a two-point lead at the summit with a game in hand.
And Neville believes Guardiola is taking an unnecessary risk by using Bernardo out of position over a natural defender.
He told Sky Sports’ Gary Neville Podcast: “I still can’t get my head around Bernardo Silva in a left-back position.
“I think you’ll concede goals there potentially if that continues to happen, and Pep Guardiola is taking a risk if he has him there.
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“When they went ahead against Arsenal and started to look comfortable was when they went to a proper back four, and Manuel Akanji was there with Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker.”
But Neville believes Arsenal also have a defensive problem after halting their four-game winless run by edging past Villa in a 4-2 thriller last time out.
However, the former Manchester United defender has claimed City’s ‘sloppiness’ is giving Mikel Arteta every chance of ending the club’s 19-year wait for the Premier League title.
“We’ve got an intriguing title race. Arsenal needed a good weekend. They’ve conceded 10 goals in the last six games. They need to stop conceding goals,” Neville explained.
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“One of the traits of a run-in is that if you’re conceding goals and teams feel they have a chance, it’s very difficult to win a league. They just need to watch that.
“It will give them confidence coming out of this weekend. They can go five points clear again if they win their game in hand.
“Thomas Partey not playing is a miss, but they just need to think about getting back to clean sheets in this next period.
“But for City, they’re still giving Arsenal a big chance because they’re not playing at their best. They’re sloppy in front of goal, and they still look vulnerable themselves at the back.”
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