Pep Guardiola confirms change of Man City’s penalty taker

Pep Guardiola confirms change of Man City’s penalty taker

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Riyad Mahrez will ‘take a break’ from penalty duty after failing to convert another spot-kick on Tuesday night.

Gregor Kobel saved a shot from Mahrez in the 0-0 draw against Borussia Dortmund, after he had previously missed from 12 yards out in the Champions League match against Copenhagen.

The City winger is not the only one to have missed a penalty in the six years since Guardiola took over; Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, and Raheem Sterling, the latter two of whom have since left the team, all missed penalties last season alone.

During the 2020–21 season, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan, and Kevin De Bruyne all missed penalty kicks, bringing City’s overall record under Guardiola (not including shootouts) to 25 misses from 80 attempts.

Mahrez missed this week’s penalty after earning it for himself, costing City the match in Dortmund, but ultimately it didn’t matter because a point was still enough to win the group.

“I admire the courage and bravery of the guys who take the penalties,” Guardiola said afterwards.

“I don’t know how many million penalties we’ve missed. We’ve done it in this competition many times,” the City boss added.

“Riyad was exceptional two or three years ago, he shoots the penalty to go 1-1 here [in Dortmund] to help us reach the semi for the first time [in 2021]. Lately, he missed. He will reflect. He can take a break now with the penalties.

“He has the mentality to go there and do it. The teams are physically strong and we give advantage to them – it happened too many times. It’s many players.”

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