ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Sheffield United 0
Man City 1
LONDON • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged his players to be more clinical in front of goal, as right-back Kyle Walker’s long-range strike saw off winless Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane yesterday.
The Spaniard’s men had won just two of their opening five Premier League games of the season and are yet to hit top gear ahead of champions Liverpool’s visit to the Etihad next weekend.
Speaking to BT Sport, Guardiola said: “We played really well. But we struggled to score goals from the chances we created.
“Sixteen shots, eight on target, so it’s a lot against this team. They play incredibly well down the sides, the patience they have, but they had one clear chance and no more than that.
“It’s our third game in seven days, all away, it’s so demanding. People have responded well.”
The visitors dominated the game, but had just Walker’s speculative 28th-minute shot to show for it as they still lacked a ruthless streak without a natural striker.
Ferran Torres played as the centre-forward in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus and the Spanish winger had an abundance of chances to net his first Premier League goal.
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was busy in the Blades’ goal as he twice denied Torres from close range before he unconvincingly parried Rodrigo’s long-range effort behind.
Walker finally broke the deadlock from similar range as his shot arrowed low past Ramsdale, but there was a muted celebration from the England international against his boyhood club.
“My mum and dad live here, so if I’d celebrated I’d have got a lot of stick. I’m a Sheffield United fan, so I couldn’t celebrate,” he said.
The one-way traffic continued early in the second half but City’s failure to kill off the game gave Chris Wilder’s men chances to snatch an unlikely point.
John Lundstram had the best chance when he side-footed Sander Berge’s low cross over.
Sheffield have scored just three goals in seven games to start the season and remain second from the bottom with just one point.
City, by contrast, have won four of their last five in all competitions as they slowly click into gear after a disrupted start to the season due to injuries, coronavirus cases and just a two-week long pre-season.
In the second game, winger Hakim Ziyech got his first Premier League goal for Chelsea as they beat Burnley 3-0 at Turf Moor. Defender Kurt Zouma added one in the second half with a powerful header from a Mason Mount corner, before Timo Werner sealed the win.