Pep Guardiola confirms change of penalty taker after latest Man City miss

Jamie Spencer
Riyad Mahrez saw his penalty saved this week
Riyad Mahrez saw his penalty saved this week / Lars Baron/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that Riyad Mahrez will ‘take a break’ from penalty duty after failing to convert another spot-kick on Tuesday night.

Mahrez saw his effort against Borussia Dortmund saved by Gregor Kobel in the 0-0 draw, having previously also missed from 12 yards in the Champions League against Copenhagen.

The winger isn’t the only City player to miss penalties over the last six years since Guardiola took over, with Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, the latter two of whom have since left the club, also failed with penalties last season alone.

Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne missed penalties during 2020/21, with City's penalty record now standing at 25 misses from 80 attempted under Guardiola, excluding shoot-outs.

Mahrez’s miss this week, having won the penalty himself, ultimately cost City victory in Dortmund, although in the end it didn’t matter as a point was still enough to win the group.

“I admire the courage and bravery of the guys who take the penalties,” Guardiola said afterwards.

“I don’t know how many million penalties we’ve missed. We’ve done it in this competition many times,” the City boss added.

“Riyad was exceptional two or three years ago, he shoots the penalty to go 1-1 here [in Dortmund] to help us reach the semi for the first time [in 2021]. Lately, he missed. He will reflect. He can take a break now with the penalties.

"He has the mentality to go there and do it. The teams are physically strong and we give advantage to them – it happened too many times. It’s many players.”

Mahrez had actually scored against Copenhagen a week before his previous miss against the Danes. But it is Erling Haaland, not on the pitch when the penalty was awarded on Tuesday, who has taken and scored both of City’s Premier League spot-kicks so far this season.


For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

facebooktwitterreddit