Pep Guardiola warns not to expect too much from returning Aymeric Laporte

The defensive lynchpin has been out since the end of August during which time City’s rearguard have struggled, conceding 13 more goals than Liverpool.

Laporte is back in full training and is hopeful of making a curtailed appearance in the home FA Cup tie against Fulham on Sunday.

City’s vulnerability was again exposed when  at the Etihad on Saturday. Wilfried Zaha was allowed to run through the defence down the left before forcing a Fernandinho own goal.

Guardiola criticised defensive failings after the 2-2 draw but admitted Laporte alone is not the answer. “We cannot expect Aymeric is going to solve all of the problems,” the manager said.

“He is getting better and the doctor is going to evaluate him and I am going to talk to him about when it will be possible to come back. But after four or five months he will need time, so he will not be ready immediately to do it.”

Despite dominating Palace, City struggled to convert chances in a match in which Cenk Tosun’s opener came, like Fernandinho’s own goal, during a rare attack from the visitors.

Updated: January 20, 2020 — 3:20 am

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