Monday, 31 October 2016

Why I played weakened side against United-Guardiola

Pep Guardiola Manchester City
Pep Guardiola has defended his decision to field a weakened Manchester City side against Manchester United in the EFL Cup.

City were beaten 1-0 by United in the fourth round of the domestic competition last Wednesday, with Guardiola making nine changes to his side.

Jose Mourinho and United made just two changes to their previous side however, and a strong team beat an inexperienced City XI at Old Trafford.

Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva and Raheem Sterling were all rested for the cup fixture, before returning against West Brom in the 4-1 Premier League victory on Saturday.

Guardiola explained that his decision to play Willy Caballero, Pablo Maffeo and Aleix Garcia was because other games were deemed more “important”.

“If we don’t win we miss a competition and we are sad about that,” he said. “But the trade is always alright when you win, and you are not right when you don’t win.

“At that moment we had to make a decision. We thought about how important the game at West Brom was and the game on Tuesday (against Barcelona) and of course Middlesbrough and how was the situation with the injured players, so many players, especially the full-backs.

“We decided that. Playing United at Old Trafford with that team doesn’t give you the security or awareness to win.

“We took a decision and the manager does that and sometimes it goes well and sometimes not.