Bravo de­fended

Guardi­ola backs keeper de­spite Barca blun­der

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International Football - BY RICHARD MARTIN/

Manch­ester City coach Pep Guardi­ola stood by his tac­tics -- and his hu­mi­lated goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo -- af­ter see­ing his side thrashed 4-0 by former club Barcelona on a night­mar­ish re­turn to the Nou Camp on Wed­nes­day.

Barca tal­is­man and Guardi­ola’s former tal­is­man Lionel Messi gave Barca an early lead but City were still in the game un­til Bravo was sent off early in the sec­ond half af­ter los­ing the ball to Luis Suarez and then han­dling his shot out­side the box.

Af­ter his ghastly mis­take, for which he apol­o­gised in the City dress­ing room af­ter­wards, Barca took com­plete con­trol, a ram­pant Messi swiftly go­ing on to com­plete his hat­trick while Ney­mar scored a fourth af­ter also miss­ing a penalty.

“There were two ways to ap­proach the game. We could have sat back and we could have won or lost do­ing that but I don’t know how to play that way and I don’t want to play that way,” said Guardi­ola.

“The more these Barca play­ers have the ball, the more dam­age they do. It’s dif­fi­cult to play against these play­ers when you have 11. With 10, it was over.”

Guardi­ola said he left top scorer Ser­gio Aguero out of the start­ing 11 for tac­ti­cal rea­sons and lamented his side’s litany of mis­takes this sea­son, as well as their er­rors against Barca.

“We’ve given a lot to our op­po­nents, start­ing in Glas­gow (the 3-3 draw at Celtic), the own goal against Tot­ten­ham, and miss­ing penal­ties (against Ever­ton),” he said.

/REUTERS

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi rounds Manch­ester City’s Clau­dio Bravo to score their first goal.

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