Guardiola backs keeper despite Barca blunder
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.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi rounds Manchester City’s Claudio Bravo to score their first goal.