Samir Nasri believes the whole Manchester City team must take responsibility for their defensive shortcomings. Manager Manuel Pellegrini criticised his side's defending after they laboured to a 4-2 win over Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League.
The Czech side caused a number of problems for City at the Etihad Stadium and it took late goals from Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko to secure victory in the Group D encounter. Ultimately it may have mattered little as City had already secured their place in the last 16, but defensive issues - in the continued absence of captain Vincent Kompany - keep recurring. Nasri knows the freescoring attack - which has now rattled in 22 goals in the last four home games - cannot repeatedly come to the side's rescue.
The France international, one of City's four goalscorers, said: "We are scoring a lot of goals but we cannot score four goals every game. We need to improve how we defend as a team. We conceded two goals. In the last game in the Champions League we conceded two as well and (against) Bayern Munich three. We need to improve, as a team, how to defend, especially in the Champions League. Then, if we can continue this form, it will be amazing."
One person who could not be blamed for the goals conceded was Joe Hart, who was restored to the team after several games on the bench. The England goalkeeper was dropped earlier this month after a series of errors but made some good saves.
Pellegrini would not say whether he would keep his place for Sunday's English Premier League clash against Swansea or if Costel Pantilimon would come back in. But Nasri feels that competition might be helping Hart.
"That's good. In every big club you have competition in your position," Nasri said. "For me Joe Hart had a fine game with fine saves. It is good for him, it is good for his trust and for the whole team."
Centurion Nasri continues good form
City twice surrendered a lead after a penalty from Sergio Aguero - his 15th goal in 12 appearances - and a Nasri volley had put them ahead. Tomas Horava and Stanislav Tecl scored the Czech side's equalisers but their spirited display was eventually killed off by a tap-in from substitute Negredo and a Dzeko header in the last 12 minutes.
Nasri also hit the bar on what was his 100th City appearance, maintaining his superb recent form.
"It is good to score, especially as it was my 100th game at Manchester City," the 26-year-old said. "But the most important thing was to win and finish with a win at home in this group stage, and be focused on Sunday's game."
The win kept City's hopes of finishing top of their group alive, although they will need to win by at least three goals in their last game at Bayern Munich in a fortnight. Key midfielder Yaya Toure will also be suspended for trip after being booked late in the game.
"We are going to go there and try to win the game because we want to finish top of the group," the French midfielder said. "The first objective was to go through the group stage because the last two years we struggled, but now we are going to go there and play without pressure."