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The ex-England international questioned the mentality of the expensively assembled defence after they shipped five goals against the Foxes

Micah Richards has slammed the Manchester City defence for their performance in their hammering by Leicester, accusing them of being “reactive, rather than proactive”.

City’s weaknesses at the back were ruthlessly exposed by the Foxes, who fought back from a goal down to claim a famous 5-2 victory.

Jamie Vardy was the star performer, hitting a hat-trick, with further goals from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans sealing the win.

It is the first time a team managed by Pep Guardiola has shipped five goals  and the first time City have conceded five goals at home in 17 years.

It is not, however, the first time the team’s defence has been questioned, with a shaky back line one of the reasons why City failed to mount a sustained defence of their title last season.

Richards certainly didn’t hold back in his criticism of their performance, particularly when they fell behind to Vardy’s second goal at the start of the second half.

“You can’t say they are not good enough,” the former City defender told Sky Sports. “[Kyle] Walker has been first choice for England for years, though in this system it’s probably a fair comment.

“[But] the problem is, £50 million for [Benjamin] Mendy, £50m for Walker, £50m for [John] Stones, £60m for [Joao] Cancelo, Now Ruben Dias, another talked-about £55m.

“If you’re going to pay £50m for defenders you have got to defend better than that.

“But, for me, Man City defenders are just reactive, rather than proactive.

“All of them are thinking about going forward rather than holding their position.”

Leicester City Manchester City 2020-21

Richards’ criticism of City went further still, with the 32-year-old also singling out midfielder Rodri for criticism.

“City have become a possession-based team,” he added. “Everyone talks about Rodri and his pass completion, but the balls he plays are five yards in front, to the side. 

“As soon as Fernandinho went off the pitch, I knew that would happen without protection. 

“In the middle by himself, Rodri doesn’t read danger like Fernandinho and they get exposed. 

“The defence was a shambles, conceding five goals here is embarrassing. Too weak.”

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September 28, 2020
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