City win 8-goal thriller, but defensive flaws a concern
Citizens' inability to find the defensive steel threatens to derail European hopes
It seems even the most well-heeled footballing machines can be prone to severe malfunction.
Manchester City are experiencing that predicament first-hand as they continue to wrestle with the Champions League.
An eight-goal thriller with Monaco in the Champions League may go some way in helping settle the Etihad Stadium's uneasy truce with the competition.
Equilibrium, however, remains very much on the backburner for Pep Guardiola.
Flawed genius has often characterised his debut season in the City hot seat.
At times, the madness has been guilty of overriding the method in a side still heavily beset by imbalance.
That disparity ran through the see-saw first-leg affair.
For a Champions League veteran and a two-time winner no less, the lack of control Guardiola held on proceedings yesterday morning (Singapore time) will have been an unsettling and alien territory for a man accustomed to routine rather than relentlessness.
Exasperation took the place of a trademark composure as he cut an increasingly animated figure on the touchline.
Antonio Conte and Juergen Klopp may well have found a new and unlikely challenger in the EPL's managerial wild-man stakes.
At Barcelona and later Bayern Munich, Guardiola rarely witnessed his sides being remotely troubled, let alone overpowered, be it on the home front or in the Champions League.
City had expected that theme to recur upon securing his services little over 12 months ago.
UNLIKE BARCA, BAYERN
But both teams were squads that possessed collective strengths; his current employers have only one.
With pace, finesse and craft in abundance, City's attack can comfortably hold their own alongside the best that Europe's elite has to offer.
It was only that which prevented them paying the price for notable shortcomings at the other end of the field.
Guardiola often refers to critics as the ones conspiring to "kill" his side's hopes of a successful debut campaign. But it is his backline which remains a greater Achilles' heel.
Out-scoring their Ligue 1 opponents could not mask a multitude of sins within that defensive spine.
Willy Caballero proved why he remains City's first-choice goalkeeper out of circumstances rather than preference, as he gifted Monaco's equaliser with a botched clearance that would not have appeared out of place in a compilation of Claudio Bravo's error-strewn attempts.
Those directly in front of him were equally culpable.
Redemption may have come John Stones' way later in the tie, but he also afforded Radamel Falcao an easy passage through as the former Manchester United and Chelsea striker chipped the visitors back into the lead.
Caballero's compatriot had fared far worse as Nicolas Otamendi was caught out by a long ball to Kylian Mbappe, while only the City stopper's heroics from the penalty spot spared further blushes after he had scythed down Falcao.
Guardiola is under no illusion that outscoring the opponents will be the only way his side can progress from the return leg in three weeks' time.
Glossing over a defence susceptible to the same tricks his own embarrassment of attacking riches deploy will be easier said than done.
In Sergio Aguero and others, he already boasts City's answers to the likes of Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski from his previous tenures.
Yet, the search for his heirs to Manuel Neuer and Gerard Pique remains an ongoing process and one which now threatens to derail this Champions League adventure.