Manchester City play breathtaking football, but they’re no stranger to the Dark Arts, either.
When opponents are counter-attacking, our biggest rivals for the title regularly foul onrushing midfielders and attackers (although they failed to do so on Wolves duo Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore last Sunday!).
This is obviously a direct instruction from Pep Guardiola, although the Spaniard denied it recently.
“We try to play, of course sometimes we make fouls. Never my teams are focused on making something wrong for the opponents,” he said.
New signing Rodri though has told the press that he’s literally learning to make ‘tactical fouls’!
“I think it’s a big challenge for me because I never used to play this position particularly,” Rodri told ESPN FC, cited in AS.
“I didn’t have this exact role in the team.
“I am learning new things, how to go, when to stay, when I have to do a tactical foul, when I have to jump.”
Oh dear, Pep!
Hopefully referees will read Rodri’s comments and a be a little sharper on punishing the Sky Blues when they act cynically.
A tactical foul on Mo Salah from Leicester City’s Hamzer Choudhury saw the Egyptian King exit the field injured last weekend – but thankfully it seems he’s winning the race to be fit in time for Manchester United next Sunday.
Our no.11 has been jet-setting this week as he has no fixtures for Egypt, and will spend next week training at Melwood in order to get himself fit for the Old Trafford trip.