Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said that he’ll consider making a switch in the team’s penalty taker role after striker Gabriel Jesus‘ latest missed chance.
Brazilian star Jesus saw his first-half penalty saved by goalkeeper Dean Henderson in City’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United on Tuesday, with Sergio Aguero coming off the bench to later rescue the three points.
Defending league champions City seem to be snakebit from the spot this season, with Jesus missing a conversion in a Champions League group stage game against Atalanta. The bad luck has also fell on Raheem Sterling, who missed his original and retaken penalty against Wolves in December.
Tuesday’s hero Aguero also has missed penalties, notably last season in City’s Champions League quarterfinal ouster to Tottenham Hotspur.
“I have to reflect on it,” Guardiola said in a post-match news conference. “I always give confidence to the players to take it but maybe I have to take the decision which guy is going to take it — not for Gabriel today because Sergio and Raheem have missed too but we are not safe.
“In the [Champions League] knockout stages, it’s so important because these kind of details make the difference most of the time. We have to reflect on it. I have to make the decision [on] the guy who will take the penalty.”
When asked who could be a prime candidate to take over the duties, Guardiola jokingly offered up another Brazilian on his squad — goalkeeper Ederson.
“Ederson is the best,”Guardiola exclaimed. “Believe me, he’s the best taker we have in penalties. Eddy has no blood in his veins, he’s so calm so he could do it.”
Guardiola’s side are 13 points behind league leaders Liverpool who have two games in hand, but the Spaniard praised Aguero’s fine form in the win at Bramall Lane.
“Sergio is on fire right now. Strikers need momentum. It’s good for us to have strikers in this form,” said Guardiola. “I am so happy with the team. I know what it’s like to play here, it is a tough, tough place. We controlled it well and in the end we created chances to win.
“It was an incredibly good victory for us to take a step towards securing Champions League football next season.”
Information from Reuters was used in this report.