Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola is searching for answers after two straight league defeats for Manchester City IKIMAGES via AFP / Ian Kington

Things have taken a surprising turn for Manchester City in the 2023-24 season. Following a phenomenal season wherein they won the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and FA Cup treble, they are currently on a a winless run of four straight matches in the league.

Fans and pundits are therefore asking what is going on with Manchester City? Manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that they are going through a mini-crisis after losing 1-0 to Aston Villa on Wednesday night. Prior to that match, they were only able to manage draws against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

To put things in perspective, they have now gone four straight league matches without a win for the first time since all the way back in April 2017.

Guardiola is not making any excuses

Following the loss at Aston Villa, Guardiola did not mince words and said that the hosts deserved the victory as they were the "the better team". He also promised to find a solution to his team's string of disappointing results.

"We struggled, especially in the first half and the second was completely different. In the final third, the quality of the pass and the movement, we didn't find it all game," said Guardiola, adding: "We know what's our level and as a manager we have to find a way to win games. We're struggling a bit. I'm here to help them."

City looked so out of sorts all evening, and they were only able to manage to take two shots against Aston Villa. In contrast, the hosts made attempts a whopping 22 times. This meant that not only did City struggle to attack, their defence was also extremely vulnerable.

BBC pundit and former Arsenal player Martin Keown also stated during the "Match of the Day" coverage that the reigning champions are "in a mini crisis". Indeed, it has been a very long time since Guardiola's side has looked this vulnerable in any competition.

However, one can't write them off this early in the season. They are currently sitting in fourth place in the Premier League table, but are only six points behind leaders Arsenal, who currently have 36 points. Liverpool are in second place with 34, and Villa have jumped up to third place with 32 points, just two more than City.

The battle is still very tight, with Tottenham also just three points behind City and with a game still in hand. We are not even halfway through the season, meaning there is still plenty of time for Guardiola to find a solution.

The stats don't lie and they are worrying

Even though things could still take a positive turn for Manchester City, there is no doubt that they will have to work extra hard to claim a fourth successive Premier League trophy.

Apart from allowing Villa to take so many shots against them on Wednesday, the club has even more worrying statistics. They have already conceded 17 goals in their first 15 Premier League matches, which is the most they have conceded since all the way back in the 2009-10 season.

Nevertheless, they did come from being 10 points off the top after 19 matchdays back in 2018-19 to later win the league. A late surge could still materialise, and the pretenders to the throne know that they need to work hard to open up a gap as much as they can.

Man City have lost all four matches without Rodri his season

Manchester City have lost four matches in the current campaign and there was a common denominator. In all of those matches, influential midfielder Rodri did not play, including the one against Villa which he missed due to a suspension.

They have had an unbeaten run of 43 matches when the Spaniard was around, making it clear that Guardiola needs to find a solution whenever he isn't available.