If defense does in truth win championships, Manchester City might be looking at an empty silver chest come May.
Reports of Manchester City 2-4 Aston Villa have been heavily downplayed. As they should be. City withheld most of their strongest players. Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany were not even on the team sheet for the fixture. Neither was Sergio Aguero. And the back line of Joleon Lescott, Kolo Toure, Aleksandar Kolarov and Mattija Nastasic was playing together for the first time (likely ever.)
Moreover, getting run out of the Capital One Cup in the third round, even at home, is actually pretty good news for City. The club has more than enough on its plate with Champions League and Premier League play. In private moments, Roberto Mancini would probably concede that the Capital One Cup—and even the FA Cup—are needless competitions for his side. City has bigger dreams.
You know there is a "but" coming.
But...television shots of City keepers retrieving balls from the back of their own net are as ubiquitous this season as Seinfeld reruns in syndication. In all competitions (excluding the Community Shield exhibition with Chelsea), City have conceded 14 goals.
City has not kept a clean sheet in Premier League play since May 6 at Newcastle United.
What can be done? Let us see.