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Pep Guardiola calls for key Manchester City change after fresh Premier League title setback



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has identified a key area for change after Wednesday’s dismal Premier League defeat to Aston Villa.

The treble-winners fell to fourth in the Premier League table after seeing their winless rut extended further in midweek, as Leon Bailey’s deflected second-half strike provided a fresh blow to Manchester City’s title aspirations.

Manchester City registered just two attempts, 20 opportunities less than the home side created, as Unai Emery’s side leapfrogged the Blues in the table and inflicted a third league defeat of the season.

Pep Guardiola was without trio Rodri, Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku for Wednesday’s loss, with the Catalan opting against starting summer signings Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes at Villa Park.

The defeat prolonged Manchester City’s winless run to four successive Premier League matches, with the Sky Blues taking just three points from a possible 12, and falling six points behind league leaders Arsenal.

Manchester City, who haven’t won a league match since early November, have failed to beat Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa in recent weeks, with alarming concerns throughout the squad.

Guardiola’s side are bidding to become the first side to ever win four consecutive Premier League titles, and the Catalan has vowed for immediate change this weekend, when Manchester City travel to Luton Town.

“We have to change the dynamic as soon as possible against Luton and [Crystal] Palace,” said Guardiola, following a dismal display at Villa Park.

“It’s my duty, my job, to come back from the situation because always for many years we’ve found ways to win, sometimes playing well, sometimes not, now we’re struggling.”

Manchester City travel to newly-promoted Luton on Sunday, prior to matches against Red Star Belgrade and Crystal Palace before the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Arsenal scored an injury-time winner at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening, beating Luton 4-3 to extend their advantage at the top of the table.