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‘He had a tough afternoon’ – Man City man criticised for being ‘exposed’ in Community Shield

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Manchester City’s decision to sell Oleksandr Zinchenko coupled with their failure to sign a replacement left-back leaves them in a difficult situation this season.

Joao Cancelo successfully operated in the makeshift role last season out of neccessity when Benjamin Mendy was suspended, but Zinchenko was waiting in the wings and could be relied upon for big games.

Now he’s gone, Pep Guardiola is over-reliant on Cancelo and was left down by the 28-year-old in the Community Shield final. Man City suffered a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at the King Power Stadium and Paul Robinson said Cancelo was a particular disappointment.

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He told Football Insider: “Cancelo did brilliantly at left-back last season. He was in my team of the year. He was outstanding. It has to be said though, he had a tough afternoon against (Mohamed) Salah (in the Community Shield final). He was exposed one on one against him.”

The 28-year-old struggled to keep Salah at bay and was found wanting a number of times. He is coming off the back of a fantastic season at City despite not being a natural left-back, but Guardiola is placing a lot of faith in him to continue in a role that isn’t his best. It’s a major gamble.

That being said. Cancelo won’t have to come up against a player of Salah’s quality every week. The 30-year-old, who had a hand in two goals against City, scored 31 goals with 16 assists from 51 games last season, so Cancelo will be glad to see the back of him.

In other news, Man City suffer blow as Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea ‘reach agreement’ with Marc Cucurella

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Sports journalist who is an avid football fan, enjoys debunking transfer rumours, loves to write pieces about players out in the cold and takes a large amount of pride getting a predicted XI 100% correct.

1 comment

  • Paul Healey says:

    Are we all failing to recognise that not only was Zinchenko a bit part player over the 5-6 seasons he was at City, but he was a midfielder playing at left back.
    I watched his positional play in the FA cup final vs Watford and his positional play was woeful.

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