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‘Next time we will score’ – Guardiola defiant as Man City’s penalty woes continue

The Blues boss has grown accustomed to seeing his side fail from the spot, with Sergio Aguero fluffing his lines in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Leicester

Pep Guardiola has boldly backed Manchester City to score their next penalty after seeing Sergio Aguero fail from the spot again in a 1-0 victory over Leicester.

Struggles from 12 yards have become an unwelcome headache for the reigning Premier League champions.

Guardiola would not expect to face such a poser, given the quality at his disposal in a star-studded squad.

Aguero, as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, can be relied upon in most instances to hit the back of the net.

He was, however, to see a spot-kick beaten away by Kasper Schmeichel at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

City have now missed five of their last seven penalties, with Guardiola previously conceding that Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson is probably his most reliable option.

The ball is yet to be thrown in his direction, but the Blues may not be far off making that call.

For now, Guardiola remains defiant and has told BBC Sport after seeing a solitary effort from Gabriel Jesus edge his side past Leicester: “We have missed four penalties in a row, but maybe we will shoot a penalty when we need it to win something.

“The keepers are good too, but the next one we are going to score.”

City’s next outing will see their attention diverted away from Premier League matters.

A heavyweight encounter with Real Madrid is set to be taken in on Wednesday, with the Blues due at Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg of an eagerly-anticipated last-16 encounter.

Guardiola will be hoping that there are no issues endured in the final third against the Blancos.

He believes his side are ready for the toughest of continental challenges.

City have suffered uncharacteristic struggles for consistency in 2019-20, but are relishing the opportunity to lock horns with 13-time champions of Europe.

Guardiola added: “The preparation after 12 days off was good, we have played two good games, and it’s good to prepare for Madrid with these good opponents.

“We are playing the kings of the competition, we will see, we will try to enjoy it and do our game.”

City are still waiting on a first triumph in Europe and know the current campaign may present their last opportunity to get their hands on an elusive trophy for some time.

UEFA have stung the Blues with a two-year ban from Champions League competition breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

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