Consequently, the Guardiola’s dream of winning his fourth consecutive premier league title is hanging in the balance.
On a night when Aston Villa gave his side a fearsome beating, not reflected in the scoreline, those fears were laid bare.
City are fourth in the table now, behind Unai Emery’s magnificent Villa, and six points adrift of leaders Arsenal after a fourth league game without a win.
Leon Bailey’s deflected second-half strike was enough to defeat City but an overall shot count of 22-3 was more indicative of Villa’s dominance.
It was Villa’s 14th straight home league win – equally a record for a club which was winning titles in the 19th century.
It was also Emery’s first success over Guardiola in 14 attempts – and it was richly deserved.