Pep Guardiola pinpoints what Man City need to improve to win Champions League

Pep Guardiola is delighted at the way his team has fought its way through a defensive injury crisis.

But the Manchester City boss has warned his team that they have to tighten up even further if they are to succeed in the Champions League this season.

The loss of John Stones to a thigh injury was seen as a big blow, especially as it came soon after Aymeric Laporte being ruled out until 2020 with a knee injury.

It left the Blues with just Nicolas Otamendi as a conventional centre back – and he almost left in the summer after struggling to make the team regularly last season.

Guardiola responded by shifting veteran midfielder Fernandinho into his back four, and promoting academy products Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

And since losing Stones, City have won five from five, scoring 19 goals and conceding just one.

Stones is due back after the upcoming international break, which means City face just one more game without him – Sunday’s home clash with Wolves.

Guardiola was asked how they had coped, and he suggested it was a combination of luck, good goalkeeping from Ederson at Everton, and team spirit.

“I’d prefer to have John Stones and Laporte back,” he said. “Against Everton we were lucky – Ederson saved us in two or three clear chances.

“It is what it is. I said when it happened that we couldn’t be crying or complaining and that we were going with the two guys that we had, and the two young players had an opportunity.
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