Do Manchester City need a rebuild after slumping to derby defeat?
The Sky Sports pundits debate how and where Manchester City must rebuild to reclaim the title after their latest defeat
By Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 09/03/20 3:02pm
Manchester City's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United put Pep Guardiola's plans under the spotlight as his team slumped to their seventh Premier League defeat of the season.
Guardiola has never before lost as many games season during his managerial career and with the Premier League title now long gone thoughts turn to the future.
Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards, in the studio for Sky Sports, argued that the team's defensive problems need addressing if they are to move forward.
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"City were too passive," said Richards. "I don't want to question the hunger but it's a derby... this is a big game and it didn't feel like that from City.
"If they want to be challenging next season, they have to make some little tweaks. Fernandinho is not a centre-back in my opinion. He's better in midfield.
"And it doesn't look like we've replaced Vincent Kompany. Nicolas Otamendi is not producing the performances he was a couple of seasons ago and John Stones hasn't played as much as he'd like. Has he lost the manager's trust? Probably. So it needs sorting."
Against United, Ederson was culpable. He allowed Anthony Martial's shot to squirm underneath him for the opener before recklessly throwing the ball into the path of Scott McTominay to allow the second goal into his net too.
According to Opta, the Brazilian became the first goalkeeper to make two errors leading to a goal in the same game so far this Premier League season.
But Jamie Redknapp believes the bigger problems are ahead of him.
"The goalkeeper has made two uncharacteristic errors so you can put that to one side, in a sense, but it's happening too often now with the goals they're conceding.
"It's a very attacking defence. I think that's an area where Pep has to sort out. They have so much possession, they play so much good football but they get punished too often."
Roy Keane offered some context to the defeat given that City remain the favourites to win the Champions League this season and they were without some key men for this game.
"They won the cup last week," Keane told Sky Sports. "They got a great result against Real Madrid. They're in the FA Cup. They've got high-class problems.
"What Man City were missing today was their very best player, Kevin De Bruyne. I wouldn't be so quick to write them off.
"But I think no matter what happened in the derby, Pep will be looking to add in the summer."
Some changes are inevitable in the summer.
"There are going to be changes any way you look at it," pointed out Redknapp.
"You're losing David Silva. I thought Phil Foden struggled wide right - it didn't suit him. They looked better when Riyad Mahrez came on. Sergio Aguero has been one of the greats but who's next? There are problems defensively, but also going forward at times."
Aguero was ruled narrowly offside in the second half before going on to finish beyond David de Gea but United restricted City to just seven shots in the match.
Guardiola's side have had at least twice as many shots as that in every other Premier League game this season, with the exception of the trip to Wolves in which they played with 10 men for all but the first 12 minutes of the match.
So was this an anomaly in that respect?
City remain the Premier League top scorers this season, despite being 25 points adrift of leaders Liverpool. That is why Gary Neville believes it's the defence that must be changed as a matter of priority.
When Pep last lost the league three seasons ago, he was aggressive in the transfer market and I would imagine he'll do the same this summer.
"I wouldn't say they've got too many problems going forward," Neville told Sky Sports.
"The biggest problem is at the back. You can get at them. Otamendi in the channel is going to be exposed time and time again. They just have to sort it out.
"When Pep last lost the league three seasons ago, he was aggressive in the transfer market and I would imagine he'll do the same this summer.
"City have to be aggressive in getting those centre-backs in. They can't be so exposed that when Aymeric Laporte gets injured, it all falls apart."