Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola took some pressure off his shoulders when his side beat Arsenal 2-1 last weekend, a result which saw City leapfrog the Gunners in the Premier League table. The afternoon started badly for the hosts as Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the early lead after just five minutes when he converted a superbly timed Alexis Sanchez pass into the back of the net.
City hit back early in the second half when Leroy Sane scored his first goal for the club since his £46.5 million move from Schalke last summer. That was the turning point in the game as the home side went on to dominate from that point and a second came their way when Raheem Sterling took advantage of some poor defending from the Gunners.
Before the victory over Arsenal, City had only won one of their last four games in all competitions. They were starting to dangerously fall behind leaders Chelsea in the standings and as a result, a few question marks were starting to be asked about Guardiola.
Although this result will silence some of his critics for now, the Spaniard still has some work to do to convince some people that he is indeed a world-class manager and can lead City to success domestically and in Europe.
Guardiola’s CV is as impressive as any manager in world football today. The 46-year-old won La Liga three times during his four-year spell in charge of the Catalan club. As well as a number of domestic cups, his big success was in the Champions League where he guided his side to the trophy in 2009 and 2011, on both occasions they beat Manchester United in the final.
After he left the Spanish giants, Guardiola took a one-year sabbatical from the game as he spent some time with his family in New York City. He returned to coaching in the summer of 2013 where he succeeded Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich. In his three-year spell in Germany, he won the Bundesliga title in every season.
The Spanish coach started his career well at Manchester City. He won his first Premier League game in a 2-1 scoreline over Sunderland, while he followed that up not long after with a victory in the Manchester derby where his long-time rival Jose Mourinho was in the opposite dugout.
Given the investment Guardiola was given in the summer, it is hard to believe that the owners would relieve their manager of his duties even if things don’t quite go to plan this season. They are seven points off Chelsea as they approach the halfway point. That gap could easily be reduced over the next couple of months.
The City owners have longed for some success in Europe since they took over the club and the English club are safely through to last 16 of the Champions League where they are favourites to progress against Monaco.