For the fourth Premier League game in a row, Manchester City only managed to score one goal when it felt like they needed two.
This unary goalscoring has brought two wins and two draws, but it feels like this type of form and these types of displays in front of goal might not be enough if they are to reclaim the Premier League title from Liverpool.
In this game against Sheffield United, the solitary goal came via a long-range effort from Kyle Walker. Though they managed 16 shots and eight on target, they failed to convert any of the chances they created inside the 18-yard box.
This despite an impressive first-half display from stand-in striker Ferran Torres, who was on the end of some good chances but was thwarted on each occasion by the Sheffield United defence and in particular their goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale.
City manager Pep Guardiola was pleased with the number of chances his side created, especially against a side such as Sheffield United, but will know his side have to be more clinical in the future, and will expect them to be so.
Most of the fanfare around Manchester City in the recent transfer window surrounded the signing of centre-back Ruben Dias. The Portuguese took his place at the back alongside Aymeric Laporte, keeping the clean sheet which helped secure three points in Sheffield.
The club’s defensive problems, or at least their defensive instability in certain moments, have been widely documented. They’ve especially struggled to find a reliable partner for Laporte, and such issues and individual errors were one of the reasons they lost their title to Liverpool last season.
Dias was the high profile name brought in to solve this problem, and his arrival fit the narratives and pre-season storylines as a result. The same could be said of Nathan Ake who, as a left-sided defender, offers backup to Laporte as well as providing an option at left-back or on the left of a back three….