Pep Guardiola has said that Aymeric Laporte cannot single-handedly resolve Manchester City’s defensive problems when the central defender returns from a serious knee injury.
The defensive pivot came out at the end of August, during which the City rearguard fought, conceding 13 goals more than Liverpool.
Laporte is back in full formation and is confident of making a reduced appearance in the England Cup home draw against Fulham on Sunday.
The city’s vulnerability was exposed again when Crystal Palace scored a late draw on Etihad on Saturday. Wilfried Zaha was allowed to run through the lower left defense before forcing a Fernandinho own goal.
Guardiola criticized the defensive failures after the 2-2 draw but admitted that only Laporte is not the answer. “We can’t expect Aymeric to solve all the problems,” said the manager.
“He is improving and the doctor will evaluate it and I will tell him when it will be possible to return. But after four or five months it will take time, so it won’t be ready immediately to do it. “
Despite dominating Palace, City struggled to convert the chances into a game where Cenk Tosun’s opener came, as did Fernandinho’s goal, during a rare visitor attack.
“They didn’t need much to score,” said Guardiola. “We have to improve. We [will] work on it and be firmer and more aggressive. In the end, all we can do is try to play and do it and create possibilities and grant few. You must accept one or two actions [against us]. The rest – us [have to] check it. “
Guardiola was hit by Benjamin Mendy, who represented a constant threat of attack along the left side of the City. “He played really well and the final decision in the last third was really good. He played well and made good crosses. Play later [virtually] two wounded seasons, so his physical condition is improving. “