"He can take a break now" - Pep Guardiola confirms Riyad Mahrez has been taken off penalty duties after missing for Manchester City against Borussia Dortmund

Manchester City
Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez will take a break from taking penalties, says Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez missed his penalty against Borussia Dortmund on October 25 during a UEFA Champions League clash. The match ended 0-0, helping both teams qualify for the next round.

City boss Pep Guardiola has now confirmed that the Algerian will be taken off penalty duty after his miss. Mahrez's shot was saved by Gregor Kobel, who jumped low on the right to get a strong hand behind the effort.

Despite striking it with power, the height of the strike was favorable for the keeper, making it a comfortable save (by penalty standards). Mahrez had already missed once before this season. His first botched attempt came against FC Copenhagen two weeks earlier.

Riyad Mahrez's last two Champions League matches:—Misses penalty against Copenhagen with score at 0-0—Misses penalty against Dortmund with score at 0-0😐

Mahrez' record for a regular penalty taker is rather poor. The Algerian has missed 10 of his 32 attempts for club and country.

Speaking after the full-time whistle at Signal Iduna Park, Guardiola said (h/t Manchester Evening News):

"Riyad was exceptional two or three years ago, he shoot the pen to go 1-1 here to help us reach the semi for the first time. Lately, he missed. He will reflect."

The Manchester City boss continued:

"He can take a break now with the penalties. He has the mentality to go there and do it. The teams are physically strong and we give advantage to them – it happened too many times. It’s many players."

The aforementioned penalty by Guardiola is a reference to the spot-kick hit by Mahrez in the 2020-21 Champions League season. The Algerian had scored back then against Dortmund to start a comeback. City won the second leg 2-1 to progress to the semifinals.

Statistically, Mahrez misses 31% of his penalties. Fair play to him for convincing people to continue allowing him to take them

Manchester City comfortably qualify as group-winners for the knockout stages

Despite the draw against Dortmund, City have secured top spot in their Champions League group. Dortmund have qualified in second place, with one round of matches left to play.

Manchester City remain unbeaten in Europe this season and have lost just once in the league (against Liverpool). City will have the luxury to rest their starting XI players in the final matchday against Sevilla.

Guardiola's team are yet to win the Champions League. Despite dominating the domestic league, they have always fallen short in the European stage. They came closest in the 2020-21 season, where they lost 1-0 against Chelsea in the final.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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