Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Manchester City cannot compare to Barcelona - Pep Guardiola

Man City reach last eight despite Basel defeat Man City reach last eight despite Basel defeat
Kristopher Love | 06 March, 2018, 21:46

The Blues boss made a decision to leave both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench for the game at the Etihad, leaving the Hazard to play through the middle, but it was a frustrating afternoon, with the Belgian failing to have a single shot.

In truth, City only neeed the one goal before they could change down through the gears turn the match into somewhat of a training ground exercise. Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas sidled up to him but didn't put in a tackle.

Giroud came on as a second-half substitute against City as Chelsea was limited to just 2 shots in the game with none of them being on target.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has defended the use of his tactics in his side's defeat at Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Kante was too ill to feature for the Blues at the Etihad Stadium at the weekend to leave Conte without his midfield enforcer. "I went quiet on co-commentary for two or three minutes (in the Man City v Chelsea game)".

And at the moment, he does not believe it is possible playing in Conte's system at Chelsea. He managed to do that last season, but the fire appears to have gone out.

"A few days ago, Arsenal played twice against them and then you criticised [Arsenal manager Arsene] Wenger a lot because they conceded three goals in only 30 minutes". Conte set the team up that way, so he has to take the blame. "We have a massive game on Saturday against Crystal Palace at home and we have to focus on the nine games ahead of us in the Premier League and try to get that Champions League spot".

The 27-year-old said: "Three or four games before the season finished we were already champions".

As dress rehearsals go, it was complete failure.

City will now look to rubber-stamp their place in the Champions League quarter-finals against Basel on Wednesday before travelling to Stoke. Same desire as at Stamford Bridge. "We've just won one title", he added. Guardiola's gallant men completed 902 passes which is more than any other team's completed passes since Opta records began in the 2003-2004 campaign.

For Chelsea, it was death by almost a thousand passes.

Many of City's opponents know the feeling.

This plan largely did not come off for the visitors though as City did well to suffocate the London side in their own half. "I think if you ask the players, the players neither", Guardiola said.