regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Manchester City manager shrugs off defeat to Liverpool

I don’t know what will happen this season but I’m sure I know these guys: Pep Guardiola

Our Bureau, Reuters Manchester Published 02.08.22, 04:45 AM
Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola. File photo

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday had not dented his confidence ahead of their Premier League title defence.

Goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez helped Liverpool in the season’s curtain-raiser in Leicester, with new signing Julian Alvarez scoring City’s goal.


“There is no reason not to be confident,” Guardiola told reporters. “No reason. What these guys have done, not just in the Premier League but the (domestic) cups and Europe (says it all).

“I don’t know what will happen this season but I’m sure I know these guys. I have no doubts for one second.

“Days ago we played against Bayern Munich and did a very good performance and against Liverpool we did very good things. I don’t feel that we are far away.”

Guardiola left Kalvin Phillips on the bench in the Community Shield but said the England international, who was signed from Leeds United in a deal reportedly worth $54.81 million, will be gradually eased into the team.

“He has confidence — he’s ready to play,” Guardiola said. “He only arrived three weeks ago and we have Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan who know our play already. But step by step he will get it.”

Ilkay Gundogan, meanwhile, doesn’t think Erling Haaland’s presence would’ve changed the outcome of last season’s Champions League semi-final defeat against eventual champions Real Madrid.

A clip from his interview has surfaced on the social media and attracted plenty of attention, with him asked about whether or not Haaland — who signed this summer in a £51 million deal — would have helped City over the line had he been on the pitch.

Surprisingly, the German midfielder said no and explained his answer brilliantly. “Honestly I would say no,” admitted Gundogan, before adding: “Because I don’t think we’ve lost the game because we didn’t have a physical striker. No, that’s not what I believe.

“We didn’t play mature enough in the last minutes of the game. I don’t want to make it also about the semi-final but yeah, you know to concede two goals in the last minutes is definitely something that should not happen.”

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