Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola may be a little concerned with how his side defended against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday.

That’s according to former Chelsea and Celtic midfielder Craig Burley, who gave his assessment of the match on ESPN FC.

City won their first piece of silverware of the season on Wednesday night when they squeezed past Sevilla on penalties in the Super Cup final in Piraeus, Greece.

Cole Palmer got City back on level terms after Youssef En-Nesyri had given the Spanish side the lead, before Guardiola’s side scored all five of their spot kicks in the shootout.

Manchester City FC v Sevilla FC - UEFA Super Cup 2023
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

It was far from a vintage City performance, with the absences of Kevin de Bruyne, Ruben Dias and John Stones noticeable.

While City didn’t sparkle in attack as they usually do, it was in defence where Burley thinks City need to improve.

“I wouldn’t say you’d be worried about it because it’s a game that ultimately isn’t going to shape your season, but the way Sevilla defended and the way Sevilla opened City up on the counter-attack was slightly concerning,” Burley said on ESPN FC.

“We saw that chance for En-Nesyri, there was another one, he could have had a hat-trick: the header and two relatively easy chances in the second half.

“So a good possession-based game without creating a lot of chances, and maybe they [City] feel they just got away with one slightly because Sevilla – on the counter-attack – created some very good opportunities.”

City will need to improve ahead of their home Premier League opener against Newcastle on Saturday, but will be boosted by the return of two key players.

Ruben Dias and John Stones were on the bench in Piraeus but could return to the side after overcoming a concussion and a hip issue respectively.

Both are likely to slot back into Guardiola’s starting XI.

Related Topics