Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City must learn to win without Rodri
Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City must find a way to win without Rodri after seeing his side fall to a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
Leon Bailey’s deflected strike in the second half earned Villa a deserved win and condemned City to four Premier League games without a victory.
Spanish star Rodri was suspended for the trip and City’s last five defeats across all competitions have all come when he has been absent from their starting line-up.
After the game, Guardiola accepted that his side must learn to cope without their midfield metronome.
He said: “Rodri is an important player of course but when he is not there we have to find a way to win without him.
“We are six points [off the top] and we would prefer to be top of the league but we made three draws and then lose today.
“In previous years we have found a way to win games but we struggled a bit and we have to find a way.
“It is my job to find a solution. The dynamic changes by winning games. When a team is better than you, you have to recognise it.
“After the deflection, we have scored four or five goals with deflections so it is what it is and we have to accept Aston Villa was better and now go to Luton.”
City lacked their usual quality and the Villa breakthrough came when Bailey’s shot took a touch off Ruben Dias and looped over Ederson.
It was a deserved win which saw Unai Emery’s side move above the reigning champions in the Premier League table and into third place.
City will now travel to Luton on Sunday — a fixture Rodri will be available for.