Friday, 19 April, 2019

Pep Guardiola defends Manchester City tactics in Tottenham defeat

Pep quote Spurs v Huddersfield - Mauricio's preview
Cassandra Castillo | 13 April, 2019, 17:44

Ilkay Gundogan criticised a heavily questioned Manchester City display against Tottenham but Pep Guardiola offered a bullish defence.

The Beligan midfielder only came on in the 89th minute, much to the confusion of supporters and observers.

"Sometimes we have made decisions that are hard to understand but, because we won, everybody said we were geniuses".

"We had a plan and the players know why we took those decisions for the way we wanted to play in the first leg". "We were there and in control, in that situation". "We lost two games in the last 23 and the way we lost ..." That's why we chose to play a different type of game. We did it quite well.

Asked how we'll approach a game against a team whose Premier League fate has already been sealed, Mauricio replied: "Always with all the respect". Ilkay can say whatever he wants.

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Guardiola said City had controlled Spurs "quite well" with a lower tempo and did not want to concede counter-attacks. "I like when they express what they believe, but it's happened many times in my career in specific games when they lost a little control. After the penalty, Sergio reacted incredibly well and was mentally strong and the team was stable".

"Unfortunately, we could not score a goal but have a second leg with our fans at home and we'll be in the semi-finals".

"We have been incredible for the past 20 months", Guardiola said. Twenty months, winning every three days, 180 points over the past two seasons.

City will attempt to overturn the deficit against Spurs in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, but first have to contend with a trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

"I don't agree with him, absolutely not", the City boss told a news conference ahead of Sunday's Premier League game at Crystal Palace. "We knew it from weeks ago, how it would be between these important games and Tottenham in the Champions League". "Selhurst Park is always hard, not just because of the stadium, but the quality of the players they have in all departments".

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