Pep Guardiola insists he is not concerned by Manchester City's defence ahead of their Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.
A shot at Europe's top competition is all City have left to play for this season after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang breached their backline in each half to secure a 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win for Arsenal on Saturday.
Ederson also made a fine save to thwart the Gabon striker when the game was still goalless, adding to a sense that the defensive shakiness which undermined City's bid for a third consecutive Premier League title remains a problem.
Influential centre-back Aymeric Laporte is back to full fitness following a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained last August, but he and teenager Eric Garcia were unable to shackle the Gunners' attack at Wembley.
Laporte and Garcia now appear to be Guardiola's preferred pairing in the heart of defence, with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones seemingly out of favour – each having struggled for their best form alongside makeshift option Fernandinho for the bulk of the season.
The City manager said it did "not take a genius to realise we need to raise our level against Real Madrid", with his side holding a 2-1 aggregate advantage over the freshly crowned LaLiga champions ahead of the second leg of their last-16 encounter at the Etihad Stadium on August 7.
Nevertheless, he was reluctant to target his back four, which was completed by full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy in the Arsenal loss.
"That [the defence] was not the problem. There were many counter-attacks. In one we made a mistake in the short space, but it was not the problem," said Guardiola.
"They used maybe one or two counter-attacks, no more than this. It was not about, I think, the tactics."
City's defensive efforts certainly appear to be on the decline according to Opta numbers spanning Guardiola's time in charge.
Their 35 goals conceded this season is the most in a Premier League campaign since Guardiola's first at the helm, a trophy-less 2016-17. When the now departed Vincent Kompany lifted the title in the subsequent two seasons, they conceded 27 and 23 respectively.
With two games remaining, City have faced 273 shots, compared to 238 in 2018-19 and 236 in 2017-18.
They have faced more shots on target (111), and committed more errors leading to shots (21) and goals (seven) than in any season under Guardiola.
City's tackle success rate has never been lower during the former Barcelona boss' tenure than 59 per cent this time around, although that figure has dropped steadily since the 70.7 per cent of 2016-17.
Arsenal's carefully constructed opener on Saturday also spoke ill of City's pressing from the front, very much a fundamental for Guardiola sides.
However, they have won the ball back in the opposition third 215 times this season and are likely to overtake their best mark of 218 in 2017-18.
That statistic might help to explain why Guardiola is reluctant to question the motivation and commitment of a team who collected a third consecutive EFL Cup in March.
"They have to [motivate themselves]. The manager is not here to motivate them or tell them what they have to do," he said. "They have to.
"The responsibility [taken by] these players, what they have done, is incredible.
"We were in the FA Cup semi-finals and all I have are these facts – we have to play 90 minutes and we played just 45 [against Arsenal].
"In the first half, everything was sloppy and not in the right rhythm to play these kinds of games."
Guardiola will hope to see improvements away to relegation-threatened Watford on Tuesday. Norwich City, already condemned to Championship football next season, will then provide City's final dress rehearsal for Zinedine Zidane's 13-time European champions.