Premier League 2020-21: Manchester City's attacking struggles in numbers
Manchester City have been struggling to score goals this season in the Premier League. City, who have dominated the show in terms of goals scored since Pep Guardiola's arrival in 2016, were once again short in their drab 0-0 affair in the Manchester derby. City, who are placed ninth in the standings, haven't quite hit the standards. Here we decode their struggles this season.
Against United at Old Trafford, City had mustered only one shot on target until the 86th minute. They finished the game with two shots on target. City (9) had fewer shots as compared to United (11). Losing three of the previous four derbies last season played in Guardiola's mind and he settled for a defensive approach. This resulted in a goalless affair.
When Guardiola came in 2016, City finished that season third, having scored the third-most goals (80). The next three seasons saw City set the bar. City scored a record 106 goals in 2017-18 and then followed that up with 95 in 2018-19. They dominated the scoring charts for the third successive season after netting 102 goals in 2019-20.
The current season sees City score just 17 goals so far from 11 games. They sit joint-10th in this regard, highlighting a sharp decline. The likes of Southampton, Everton, West Ham United and Aston Villa have outscored City this season. City have the second-best defensive record, however, it's in attack where questions will be asked.
Kevin De Bruyne has amassed six assists this season (second-highest). The Belgian is producing chances on a consistent basis, however, there are problems around him. Against United, there was a lack of movement which often triggered frustrations for De Bruyne. Interestingly, no other City player has managed more than one assist in the Premier League this season. City are averaging 1.54 goals per game.
Notably, no City player has scored five or more league goals this season. Their highest scorer is Riyad Mahrez (4). Raheem Sterling, who scored 20 goals last season, has been quiet. After another ineffective display against United, Sterling's tally reads just three goals this season.