Guardiola: Man City were more fluid in the second half

Pep Guardiola suggested post-match that second half adjustments made his Man City team more fluid against Arsenal.

Man City were in the ascendency in the first half as they took the lead early on through Gabriel Jesus. The visitors were the better side for much of the opening 45 minutes, but that changed slightly as Arsenal equalised.

The goal came against the run of play as Alexandre Lacazette headed home a cross from Gabriel Martinelli. The Gunners finished the half well, but it remained 1-1 heading into the break.

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Man City kicked their game up a gear in the second half, however. They went back ahead after Runar Alex Runarsson mishandled Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick.

Phil Foden doubled their advantage minutes later with a sublime chip before Aymeric Laporte headed City into a 4-1 lead.

Man City remain on course to win the Carabao Cup for the fourth successive season. The semi-final draw will take place on Wednesday night.

Speaking with Sky Sports after the game, as cited by BBC Sport, Guardiola claimed that his side were far more “comfortable” in the second half:

“Both teams need to score goals, we score four. We changed the set-up, they score a good goal, after the second half we had more fluidity. The second goal was helped, the third maybe offside, so that makes a difference. After 3-1, it is a completely different game.

“We put another player in the position we can make it dangerous. We score a goal, we had a good moment, didn’t suffer and they could not make passes in a row, but they changed, pressed better. The second half we adjusted and were a little bit more comfortable.

“The last two or three years we have scored a lot of goals and this year we struggle, but of course goals are important.

“It is good for the rhythm for the players that haven’t played. For four years in a row, we are in the semi-finals which is a good achievement in this competition.”

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