Pundit shuts down probe into Man City choice that could’ve cost them – ‘He is well capable’
Tony Cascarino feels there is no reason to question why Ilkay Gundogan took a penalty in Manchester City’s win over Leeds United, as although he missed, he is “well capable”.
City have been second in the Premier League, behind Arsenal, for much of this season. Indeed, the Gunners have held the top spot for the vast majority of the campaign.
However, Mikel Arteta’s side have faltered of late, and that’s coincided with a mesmerising charge from City. The Manchester outfit have now won their last 10 games on the bounce in the Premier League, and are four points clear at the top.
However, their last match against Leeds might have seen them falter. One moment in particular has been put under the spotlight, as it could have allowed the Whites back in.
Midfielder Gundogan scored City’s opening two goals, and was on a hat-trick when a penalty was given. As such, regular taker Erling Haaland allowed his teammate to take it, in the hopes he would score and receive the accolades.
However, Gundogan hit the post, and minutes later, Leeds pulled one back, meaning for a nervy last five minutes where, had they scored again, City would have allowed Arsenal to within two points of them.
After the game, City boss Pep Guardiola was adamant Haaland “has to take” the penalty.
Pundit Cascarino has shut down the probe into that moment, suggesting there was no reason for Gundogan not to take it.
“I expected him [Haaland] to take it, he didn’t,” he said on talkSPORT.
“But then as he [Gundogan] was walking I was thinking, he’s 32, he’s a German international, he’s a fantastic footballer, he’s got two – there’s not really a reason where you could say he shouldn’t take it.
“He is well capable of taking a penalty and scoring and the fact that he missed it there was then the argument, well they’re 2-0 up and it could’ve cost them two points if they’d have got back to 2-2.
“Yeah, I get it but Gundogan’s well capable of taking a penalty, he’s a very gifted footballer.”
Had Gundogan scored, there would have been no backlash, and he’d have been praised for scoring a hat-trick. While City might have let Leeds back in somewhat, there’s also no guarantee Haaland would have scored, although he has obviously been in tremendous form in front of goal all season.
In the end, it didn’t matter anyway, and City’s charge has continued.
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