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Stats show Pep Guardiola dropping Man City player v Tottenham was awful decision [Opinion]


Manchester City lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday afternoon’s Premier League meeting and a lot was made of Pep Guardiola’s choice not to start Kevin De Bruyne due to ‘tactical’ reasons.

It’s not the first time the 31-year-old has been dropped to the bench in recent weeks, but Guardiola’s decision wasn’t vindicated this time. City struggled to create clear-cut chances and looked a much more convincing outfit when De Bruyne was introduced in the second half.

No player in the City squad managed more than one chance created until De Bruyne came on and got three in 30 minutes. Only one City player managed more than one accurate cross until the Belgian international came on and whipped in four. De Bruyne even had two shots, so he sent a message to Pep.

The 31-year-old has scored three goals with 12 assists from 20 Premier League games this season (15 goal contributions) – only Erling Haaland has contributed more (28). De Bruyne has created more chances (3.3 per game) than any of his teammates. Jack Grealish is second (1.7) and has nearly half the amount.

Bernardo Silva started ahead of De Bruyne but has no assist in the league since October. He didn’t create a chance against Spurs either. Julian Alvarez was a surprise starter too, as he’s scored only two league goals since August. He didn’t manage a shot on target against Spurs.

So in a game that saw Tottenham be hard to break down, De Bruyne on the bench wasn’t the smartest move. No player has more assists and creates more chances in Europe’s top-five leagues, so how isn’t Guardiola finding a space in the team for KDB?

In other news, stats show Riyad Mahrez underwhelmed v Tottenham

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He joined from Newcastle in 2000 and left to join FC Sochaux in 2003

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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.