Sunday, June 16, 2019

Guardiola praises City mentality on ´dangerous´ Burton pitch

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Jan 2019

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Pep Guardiola praised Manchester City for seeing out their EFL Cup semi-final against Burton Albion in a professional manner on what he described as a “dangerous” pitch.

Leading 9-0 from the first leg, Sergio Aguero’s goal was all that was needed at a brisk Pirelli Stadium to seal a 10-0 aggregate win and a Wembley return for the reigning champions.

City manager Guardiola, who included several academy products, was content with the application of his side, particularly on a pitch that showed the strains of the icy temperatures.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “It was quite good, the pitch was so dangerous, so slippery. 

“We made a good game, we missed a little the last pass and the finishing, but Burton had two or three clear chances. [Goalkeeper Aro] Muric was outstanding. We are in the final.

“Every game is completely different, we started at 9-0 up but I didn’t see a lack of desire. We played seriously and had no injuries.

“The youngsters did well, they had good performances. It’s important to be in the final, it’s not easy to get to back-to-back finals, it doesn’t matter which competition. Now we will prepare well and try to win.”

Chelsea or Tottenham lay in wait in the final, the latter of who are still using the national stadium for home games as their new White Hart Lane stadium is yet to open.

But Guardiola has no preference for who City face.

“I don’t think about that,” he added. “We are going to the final, now I’m not thinking about Chelsea or Tottenham.

“Both tough teams, incredible teams – one more year we are there.”

One major positive for City was the return from a two-month injury lay-off for Benjamin Mendy.

The France left-back replaced Kevin De Bruyne in the 63rd minute and felt no ill-effects.

“The conditions were not great, but we prepared for this,” Mendy said. 

“The players helped me … I feel good, my body feels good, my legs, I’m happy.”

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