Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City cannot keep going behind in games

Newcastle United v Manchester City – Premier League – St. James’ Park
(Image credit: Owen Humphreys)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola knows his side cannot continue climbing mountains in the Premier League to win games.

The champions came back from 3-1 down at Newcastle to draw 3-3 and 2-0 behind at home to Crystal Palace to win 4-2, mainly due to the scoring power of Erling Haaland.

But Guardiola says it is not sustainable to score four or five goals to win a game.

“We have to try to avoid it,” he said ahead of the visit of Nottingham Forest.

Manchester City celebrate

Manchester City came from behind again on Saturday (Nick Potts/PA)

“In one time it is good because always in the past when we were down it was difficult to come back and now we proved last season and this season we can do it but we have to try and avoid it as much as possible.

“We have to manage this situation. It is risky, one day we will not be able to come back.”

Asked whether his side’s defensive frailties were because City had become more attacking this season with Haaland in his team, Guardiola added: “It is completely the opposite, as far away from your goal you are you are much safer.

“We have proved this in six years as part of winning the Premier League we have conceded few goals playing this way. We are going to adjust something, it is normal in this period.

Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland has scored six goals this season (Nick Potts/PA)

“We are scoring a lot of goals as well and at the same time we are conceding a lot and if we don’t stop that it will be difficult. You can’t always score four or five goals to win a game for a few months. We have to be better.”

Haaland has been the star man in the first four games for City, scoring six goals, including a match-winning hat-trick against Palace on Saturday.

But Guardiola has always been open that the Norwegian will not play every match as City enter a gruelling schedule.

He was coy on whether he would pick his striker against Forest, but did confirm if Haaland did not play, then Julian Alvarez would come in.

“When Erling doesn’t play, we are going to play Julian. That is almost sure,” he said.

“We are really impressed with his pace, his sense of goal, the work ethic, for many things.

“I knew him a little bit on TV and clips but I am surprised how good he is. He’s so humble, always positive and every training session he gives everything. I like these type of players.

“The impact in the minutes he has played – he could have had a hat-trick at the Camp Nou and was involved in two goals in the last game – he has the sense of goals – we are delighted.

Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva has been linked with a move away from City (Joe Giddens/PA)

“I know people are talking about Erling and we are pleased but Julian is an exceptional player.”

With the transfer window open for just another 48 hours, Guardiola does not know if any more business will be done, including a possible sale of Bernardo Silva.

“With Bernardo I have said many times how important he is for us,” he added.

“Just one or two days until the transfer window is shut and everyone will be focused on what they have to do. I don’t know what is going to happen.”

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