Four games, nine scorers – did Man City really need Kane?

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September 12, 2021
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    Variety of Man City goalscorers delights Guardiola

    Manchester City's summer pursuit of Harry Kane suggested the club felt they needed a striker to take them to the next level.

    Yet 360 minutes into the Premier League season and having failed in their attempts to sign the England captain, Pep Guardiola's side are the division's joint-top scorers and, remarkably, nine players have found the net for them in their past three games.

    The latest name on the scoresheet was Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva, who earned Pep Guardiola's side a hard-earned 1-0 win at Leicester.

    Ironically, it came on the day England captain Kane – for the first time in his career – did not have a shot or a touch in the opposition's box in a game where he completed the full 90 minutes as Tottenham lost 3-0 at Crystal Palace.

    "We don't have a real striker so we do it as a team," said Guardiola. "It's our strength as a team. That's why I am satisfied.

    "Against Leicester we would love to have scored more goals. But the way we played and the way we created chances is a good sign for the future."

    Having lost 1-0 at Spurs on the opening weekend of the season, City bounced back to thrash Norwich 5-0 on 21 August with Jack Grealish, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez all scoring. The other was an own goal.

    A week later Guardiola's side repeated the scoreline against Arsenal – Ilkay Gundogan, Ferran Torres (2), Gabriel Jesus and Rodri netting – before Silva became the ninth different scorer in the past three games following his close range finish against Leicester.

    For now at least, any fears that the departure of Sergio Aguero and the lack of a replacement might cost them are proving wide of the mark.

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