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Guardiola admits Man City's 'penalty problem' could derail Champions League ambitions after Mahrez miss vs Dortmund

10:27 BST 26/10/2022
20221025 Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City's ''penalty problem'' could hurt their Champions League ambitions.
  • City held to a draw by Dortmund
  • Mahrez missed second successive penalty in UCL
  • City have poor record from the spot under Pep

WHAT HAPPENED? If Riyad Mahrez had scored from 12 yards against Borussia Dortmund then Manchester City could have left Signal Iduna Park with three points in their bag instead of just one. Erling Haaland is the primary spot-kick taker for City, but the Norwegian was taken off at half-time against his former club, and the Algerian stepped up as his backup. After failing to score against Copenhagen a fortnight ago, Mahrez fluffed his lines again as Gregor Kobel dived the right away to save his attempt. Guardiola was visibly concerned about the miss and hinted that his team's struggles from 12 yards could derail their chances of winning the tournament.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Since I've been here we've missed 25 penalties, most of them in the Champions League," Guardiola said to reporters after the match. "It's too many. You always have to admire the courage, but missing so many penalties is a problem. We have to improve. It comes down to fine margins in this competition and these situations can make the difference.''

The City boss also confirmed Mahrez will ''take a break'' from spot-kick duties after his latest miss. ''Riyad was exceptional two or three years ago, he shoot the pen to go 1-1 here to help us reach the semi for the first time,'' he added. "Lately, he missed. He will reflect. He can take a break now with the penalties.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mahrez has missed 10 of his 32 career penalties, including three of his last four for City. Guardiola will now look at other alternatives in the squad to step up when Haaland is not on the pitch. Ilkay Gundogan could pick up the mantle again after scoring 15 out of the 17 he has taken in his career.

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WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER CITY? Guardiola's men will travel to Leicester City to take on the Foxes in a Premier League encounter on Saturday.