Sunday 25 August 2019

Guardiola disagrees with Gundogan’s assessment of ‘nervous’ European performance

The German midfielder also believes ‘were not brave enough’ and ‘made a lot of simple mistakes’ in Tuesday’s Champions League clash.

Ilkay Gundogan was strong in his comments after Manchester City’s loss at Tottenham (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Ilkay Gundogan was strong in his comments after Manchester City’s loss at Tottenham (Barrington Coombs/PA)

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Pep Guardiola has rejected Ilkay Gundogan’s assessment that Manchester City were too nervous in their Champions League loss at Tottenham.

Midfielder Gundogan felt City were guilty of trying too hard as they were beaten 1-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie on Tuesday.

Gundogan also felt City did not respond well to Sergio Aguero’s early penalty miss as they were undone by Son Heung-min’s late goal.

Pep Guardiola’s quadruple-chasing Manchester City were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham in midweek (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I don’t agree with him, absolutely not,” said City boss Guardiola. “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. We didn’t concede many shots on target and we were there many times, even if we didn’t create too much.

“The game at Spurs was much better than (at) Schalke. The difference was Leroy (Sane) put the ball in the (top) corner from 50 yards and against Spurs we missed a penalty. Schalke was a far more dangerous situation because we were 10 against 11 and losing 2-1, but we reacted well in both situations.

“Sergio was strong and the team was stable. 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.

“We were there and in control. In this case, in this specific game, I don’t think I agree.”

Gundogan was unusually forthright in what was a critical analysis of a frustrating night at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

I don’t agree with him, absolutely not Pep Guardiola on Ilkay Gundogan comments

The German, whose future is unclear as his contract expires at the end of next season, said: “We were not brave enough in the game and we made a lot of simple mistakes.

“I have the feeling we are nervous in important Champions League games. We always make the wrong decisions.”

Of Aguero’s penalty miss he added: “Negative events like that always set us back far too much”.

Sergio Aguero missed from the spot in Man City’s Champions League loss at Tottenham (Adam Davy/PA)

Despite disagreeing, Guardiola says the 28-year-old is entitled to his opinion.

He said: “He can say whatever he wants. I like when they express what they believe.”

Quadruple-chasing City turn their attention back to the defence of their Premier League crown as they travel to Crystal Palace this weekend.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bernardo Silva are hoping to shake off injuries to feature at Selhurst Park.

Guardiola said: “They are feeling better but I don’t know if they are fit for Sunday. We’ll see today and tomorrow.”

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