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Pep Guardiola wants Man City players to learn from Adam Lallana lesson
Posted on October 24, 2021
Pep Guardiola praised Adam Lallana for helping to create problems for Manchester City in the second half of their 4-1 win over Brighton.
A Phil Foden brace followed Ilkay Gundogan's early strike to see City race into a 3-0 lead after half an hour, but they struggled after the break and eventually conceded a penalty before a late Riyad Mahrez finish restored their three-goal advantage.
While delighted with the result, Guardiola was critical of his team for the way they tried to overcomplicate their play in the second half and forgot the basic principle that he drills into the squad every week to keep the ball for as much as possible.
And he picked out Lallana's role as a deep-lying midfielder to highlight how good teams can cause City's players problems when they are not in possession, showing why they need to make sure they do not gift the ball to their opponents.
"We play football games against an opponent. I would love to play alone and win 10-0 every game but the opponent can sometimes be really good," he said.
"When you don't have the ball, and they have the ball, they know exactly what they have to do. Do you know who the holding midfielder is for Brighton? Lallana. He is No.10 or whatever but they put him in holding midfield to make a good build-up and when you press Lallana he breaks, passes, breaks the line.
"Normally holding midfielders are big, strong ones but when one team uses this type of player for the process when you don't have the ball you suffer.
"The lesson of this game is we have to keep the ball as much as possible. And suffer when the opponents are good because when you go to play in Europe or at the top clubs in the Premier League, you have to defend for some time.
"How is the best way to defend as little as possible? Have the ball. We started long balls, to lose easy balls, to complicate simple things and when...When that happens, you are in danger - against Brighton, against top teams."