Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed he substituted Vincent Kompany at half-time in Wednesday’s EFL Cup fourth-round defeat to Manchester United because the defender claimed he “could not play anymore”.
Captain Kompany returned to the City starting XI on Sunday as he continues his recovery from a lengthy injury lay-off, with previous comeback attempts having proved short-lived.
The Belgium international spoke in the build-up to this week’s trip to Old Trafford of his intention to be “honest” with the City medical staff about his physical condition, hoping to avoid further injury problems.
And, after completing 78 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Southampton at the weekend, Kompany seemingly withdrew himself during the interval of the 1-0 loss to United.
“He told me he could not play anymore,” said Guardiola, whose side conceded Juan Mata’s winner soon after Kompany was replaced by Aleksandar Kolarov.
City’s sixth match without a win means Guardiola is on the longest barren run of his coaching career, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss does not regret making nine changes to his starting line-up.
“I’m so proud of our performance,” he added. “I’m so proud of the young players and the other players for how we played.
“Congratulations to United for taking the next step
“We had two or three chances, [we couldn’t find] the last pass, but I’m so proud.
“I want to try to win. But that’s competition. Next season we will try again [in the EFL Cup]. Now we focus on the next competitions.”
City failed to register a single shot on target during the match.