The Citizens dropped crucial points in their last game ahead of the World Cup break.
Pep Guardiola has admitted Ivan Toney created problems for Manchester City’s midfield line in their 2-1 defeat against Brentford.
The English striker scored twice for the Bees only two days after Gareth Southgate kept him out of his World Cup squad.
Toney first opened the scoring in the 16th minute before winning the game for the Bees just before the full-time whistle.
Speaking after the game, Guardiola highlighted Toney’s role in Brentford’s plans.
“We couldn’t high press because of the balls [from] keeper to striker,” Guardiola admitted (via Manchester World).
“In this process we could not win any balls because when Toney flicked the ball he created problems.
When Toney kept the ball and played with the three players in the middle he created problems. And we could not regain the ball in the end.
“We struggled to create chances. Tactically we had problems to control.
“We struggled to control the long balls from [David] Raya to Toney. You have to be brilliant in the small spaces and we were not. They defended really well.”
Asked about Toney, the Man City boss added: “Last season we suffered from him and he’s an exceptional player for them.
“He is good, really good. He is able to win [headers] against central defenders.
“The reality is we were not able to control this aspect. Every time the central defender jumped… we suffered.”