Saturday 18 August 2018

Watch: Eamon Dunphy claims Pep Guardiola's team selection against Liverpool was 'borderline crazy'

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eamon Dunphy has criticised Pep Guardiola's decision to leave Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero out of his starting XI for last night's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Liverpool at the Etihad.

Trailing 3-0 from the second leg, Guardiola went with an attacking line-up but left Aguero on the sideline.

A Gabriel Jesus goal after three minutes gave City hope and they should have been back in the tie at half time but Leroy Sane's legitimate goal was ruled out for offside.

City's challenge fizzled out in the second half and goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino saw Liverpool advance comfortably to the last four.

Speaking on RTE this evening, Dunphy felt Guardiola had gambled on his team selection and lost.

"Before the tie started, I thought Manchester City would beat them over the two legs, then at Anfield they really didn't show up and Liverpool won it that night. 3-0 and no away goal which is absolutely vital as we saw with Roma," he said.

"Last night, City got a dream start. After two minutes Jesus got a goal but when you saw the City team before the game started and Vincent Kompany was out, Aguero was left out. I think the questions began then.

"This is really not very sensible. There are too many attacking players, it's unbalanced, Otamendi was to be the lynchpin in a back three? No, I didn't think that was possible.

"James Milner played Sane onside, it would have been 2-0 and at 2-0 I might have thought that Liverpool would be vulnerable in the second half.

"I think when you reflect on the two legs Liverpool deserved it, there were four halves of football... they won three of those halves and I think Guardiola's decision-making in many areas was poor and I think his decision last night was borderline crazy; to leave Vincent Kompany out, to leave Aguero out. Their best scorer and their leader in defence was a huge risk and it did not pay off."

Former Liverpool and Man City midfielder Dietmar Hamann felt Liverpool 'didn't have to play exceptionally well' to beat City but conceded that the 5-1 aggregate scoreline had flattered Jurgen Klopp's men.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport