Home » Premier League latest & Champions League returns

Premier League latest & Champions League returns

Man City’s clean sheet problempublished at 15:25 20 February

Man City v Brentford (19:30 GMT)

It seems a weird thing to ask given Manchester City have gone 15 matches since their last defeat, drawing only twice in that time, but Pep Guardiola had to respond to questions about his side’s defensive capabilities before Tuesday’s Premier League encounter with Brentford.

In those 15 games, City have kept six clean sheets – two at the Club World Cup, one against Championship strugglers Huddersfield in the FA Cup and one against Premier League relegation candidates Sheffield United.

Even for a team as good as City, it is dangerous to keep conceding, which is how they ended up drawing with Chelsea at the weekend – and found themselves behind at Brentford earlier this month.

“We love to have clean sheets,” said Guardiola. “All the teams want it and we are no exception.

“But I don’t go to them and say: ‘You have to get clean sheets.’ If I say ‘just clean sheets’ they forget to play and forget what they have to do.

“What they have to do is defend better – concede few, attack better and create more chances. This is always my target every time I prepare a game or make a meeting with them.

“If we concede goals, we have to improve it. If the goal is avoidable, hopefully next time it doesn’t happen.”

BBC Sport has a dedicated Manchester City page packed with news, analysis and fan views – get it here