MX23RW : Tuesday, May 18 20:29:47| >> :60:738:738:

Pep Guardiola believes football has lost a sense of joy

Pep Guardiola believes football has lost a sense of joy
© Reuters
Manchester City beat the Clarets 5-0 for the fourth time in succession at the Etihad Stadium but Pep Guardiola said the joy is missing without spectators.

Pep Guardiola admitted some of the joy was missing after Manchester City thrashed Burnley 5-0 at an empty Etihad Stadium.

Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as City took advantage of a visit from one their favourite whipping boys to rediscover their goalscoring touch in the Premier League.

It was City's fourth successive 5-0 victory over the Clarets at home.

Yet with little respite in the schedule in a condensed season, and with supporters unable to attend, City boss Guardiola felt something was lacking.

"The problem today in games is the players lose the joy of playing football," the Spaniard told the BBC.

"Before it was nice playing football, once or twice a week with spectators. Now it is like... in three days there is another one."

Guardiola, however, allayed fears that record goalscorer Sergio Aguero might have suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.

The Argentinian underwent surgery in the summer and his return to action has already been complicated by a hamstring injury.

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero was absent against Burnley (Neil Hall/PA)

He was not involved against Burnley but Guardiola is hopeful the latest problem is not serious.

Guardiola said in his post-match press conference: "Sometimes it is just a reaction on the knee. With Sergio, it is how he wakes up. He makes good training sessions, but then has niggles in his knee.

"We know the injury he had is not easy for the recovery – we have to handle it as well as possible. When he is ready, he will play. Hopefully tomorrow he can come back to training."

Guardiola was pleased to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after last week's loss at Tottenham. City had won just three of their opening eight games and scored only 10 goals in a mixed start to the campaign.

He said: "It was important to come back with a victory in the Premier League. We play a lot of games so to play 90 minutes and maintain a good level is not easy, but there are always things to improve on.

"Of course, it helps us. It's important for us to score goals and keep going."

Riyad Mahrez leaves with the match ball
Riyad Mahrez leaves with the match ball (Michael Regan/PA)

Benjamin Mendy scored his first goal for the club and Ferran Torres also struck but it was Mahrez who claimed the matchball.

Guardiola said: "It is important for guys up front to score goals. They should score more goals. Then they will have more chances to keep playing.

"The most important thing now is we have almost 21 players fit. We have players who are tired who will need rest but the guys who defend well and the guys who score will play."

Burnley, by contrast, were weakened by injuries and were comprehensively outplayed. The game proved a particularly chastening experience for goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell on his Premier League debut.

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche saw his side humbled again at the Etihad Stadium (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

Manager Sean Dyche said: "It is a peculiar one – it is a rare ground where this has occurred on a consistent basis.

"But we have made mistakes and they have capitalised on it. Immediately the game plan is thrown out of the window. Here, it is really tough then. They use the ball so well.

"I am not going to start complaining about injuries but we all know the disparity in the division. They have got a huge resource base and they use it well.

"There is no lack of effort or intention. We just made the wrong choices and we played a top side. When those top sides turn up they really punish you."

ID:424265: cacheID:424265:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:10072:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on November 22, 2020
Read Next:
Saturday's Premier League predictions including Brighton vs. Liverpool
>

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City37265678324683
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd372011671432871
3Chelsea371910856332367
4Leicester CityLeicester372061165452066
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Leeds UnitedLeeds37175155953656
9Everton36168124643356
10Arsenal361671350381255
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
14Southampton37127184765-1843
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton37914144044-441
16Burnley36109173351-1839
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
RFulham37513192751-2428
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!