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Pep Guardiola rejects Ilkay Gundogan's "nervous" claim

Guardiola rejects Gundogan's
© Reuters
The German midfielder also believes 'were not brave enough' and 'made a lot of simple mistakes' in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

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
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.

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
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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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