English Premiership

Guardiola defends Man City after Gundogan criticism

2019-04-12 17:13
Ilkay Gundogan
Ilkay Gundogan (Getty Images)

Manchester - Pep Guardiola says he "absolutely" does not agree with midfielder Ilkay Gundogan's scathing assessment of Manchester City's performance in their midweek Champions League defeat to Tottenham.

City face Spurs twice more in the next week, in the return leg of the European quarter-final and in a home league game, as they chase an unprecedented quadruple.

Gundogan accused City of not being brave enough in the 1-0 first-leg defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday, in which Sergio Aguero missed a first-half penalty.

But Guardiola, whose team are second in the Premier League, two points behind Liverpool, strongly rejected the German international's analysis.

"I don't agree with him. Absolutely not," said the City boss.

"There are games when we concede a goal and we are not there, but in this case we conceded a goal and nothing happened. Especially in the second half, it was under control."

Guardiola said his side, who have a game in hand over Liverpool in the title race, did not concede many shots on target, even if he acknowledged they did not create many chances themselves.

"We defended the set-pieces when they are so strong and after when we conceded a goal there were 10 minutes left and nothing happened," he said. "We were there and in control, in that situation. 

"Of course we want to do well, especially in the Champions League but in that case in this specific game I don't think I agree."

Gundogan's surprising analysis of City's defeat clearly did not sit well with Guardiola, who used much of his press conference ahead of Sunday's Premier League visit to Crystal Palace responding to his player.

"He can say whatever he wants," Guardiola said. "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. 

"We have been for 20 months incredible, two games in the last 24 lost. Twenty months, winning every three days, 180 points over the past two seasons.

"Regarding this specific game, it did not happen. We were stable. Of course the competition is tough and the opponents are good. Look at how many chances the teams create."

Guardiola said City had controlled Spurs "quite well" with a lower tempo and did not want to concede counter-attacks.

"They were stronger than us. We had two days' rest, they had six," he said.

"They can punish us. We decided to play a different type of game. Unfortunately we couldn't score but we have the second leg with our friends at home and we'll go for the semi-finals."

Guardiola may have Bernardo Silva and Oleksandr Zinchenko back from injuries for the visit to Palace, a team who produced a major surprise by beating City at the Etihad in December.

But the City manager was in no mood to make negative comments about his side, even if he expects a tough challenge against Roy Hodgson's team.

"We knew it weeks ago, how it would be between these important games," said Guardiola. "Selhurst Park is always difficult because of the stadium and the quality of the players.

"There are six games left (in the league). We know what we are playing for and we are going to see."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Saturday, 20 April 2019
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 13:30
West Ham United v Leicester City, London Stadium 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Watford, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Fulham, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Southampton, St. James' Park 18:30
Sunday, 21 April 2019
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 14:30
Cardiff City v Liverpool, Cardiff City Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Monday, 22 April 2019
Chelsea v Burnley, Stamford Bridge 21:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.