Pep Guardiola admits it was “not easy” for his Manchester City stars to stop an “incredibly strong” Andy Carroll last night – but believes they did a good job containing him in the end.
The 6ft 4′ striker left Laporte in a heap on several occasions and gave us a real physical presence up top, however he was often left far too isolated and unable to get the service into good areas that he craves.
This was clearly a plan of Pep’s and they managed him well in the end, however the Spanish boss has been praising the 31-year-old’s aerial dominance and ability from long balls:
“It is not easy because Andy Carroll is incredibly strong in the long balls, the headers,”
“I said to them if you want to fight, then try to win but if you lose because they want the position then don’t worry.
“The important thing is to keep him far away from the 18-yard box and we did it.”
As you can see above, for what he lacked in service he made up for in physicality, with Laporte feeling the full brunt of a few heavy challenges!
That said, we were never high enough up the pitch to make the most of his aerial dominance. OK, Guardiola’s tactics may have contributed to keeping him out of their 18-yard box, but it was our negative approach that shot us in the foot as much as anything.
Hopefully the big man gets some better service the next time Bruce hands him a rare start!