Men's Team

Guardiola's pride at superb defensive record

Pep Guardiola says City’s superb defensive acumen is again proving one of the key components in our quest for success this season.

Over the course of his storied managerial career, Guardiola has established universal praise and plaudits for his philosophy and commitment to attacking football.

However, in eight of the nine title winning campaigns the boss has enjoyed in spells at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now City, his sides have also boasted the best defensive record.

Currently leading the Premier League by nine points, reigning champions City have once again conceded fewer goals than any other side so far this term – just 14 from 23 games to date.

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And, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s return to Premier League action at the Etihad against Brentford, Guardiola spoke with pride about the principles that underpin our approach to defending.

“In those terms, yeah,” Guardiola responded when asked if he was a defensive manager. “We defend with the ball.

“We believe you don't need lots of players in the box to defend well.

“When the opponent has the ball far away from the goal and when you have the ball, that's the best way to defend.

“To concede a goal, the opponent has to have the ball and the less they have it, the more chances we have to have a clean sheet and be solid.

"And after we can talk about what we have to do with the ball.

“We can have the ball and, yeah, you can concede a counter-attack and be punished on a counter-attack, of course.


“But if you look at the best teams in the Premier League right now it is because most of them are offensive and have the ball a high per cent.

“The team that is top of Championship, Fulham, is the team that has more time with the ball.

“I am very pleased for that (defensive record). Be offensive but, at the same time, be solid and concede few goals.”