Despite the absence of several players who tested positive for COVID-19, Pep Guardiola’s Man City earned a spot in the Carabao Cup final for the fourth consecutive year.
Following their 2-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, Guardiola spoke with the media and discussed the ‘mystery’ surrounding his players’ return. The boss insisted that he doesn’t know how the affected players will perform once they come back from self-isolation.
Over the last two weeks, several players including Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus, Ferran Torres, Ederson and more tested positive for COVID-19. Last night, both Walker and Jesus returned to the bench but were not used as a sub.
In addition to that, Guardiola also refused to use Sergio Aguero who recently returned to training following a prolonged knee injury. Speaking with Sky Sports, Guardiola stated that he needs to see how his players will react to training.
Here’s what he had to say; “It’s a mystery. Nobody knows what happens when you pass Covid-19. Some guys recover well; some guys recover really really badly. Nobody knows.
We will see in training sessions how they react. What I know when I speak with them today and people are they are tired because they had ten days without training sessions, but we will see. We’re going to analyse how they feel.”
He also talked about City’s impressive performance against their neighbours and hailed his players’ fighting mentality. In a cheeky response, Guardiola insisted that he knows that Carabao Cup isn’t equal to Champions League. Still, he takes pride in the fact that his side has reached the domestic competition’s final four times in a row.
He began; “You are frustrated when you play bad when the team don’t run or help or celebrate every defensive action. The team is ready; that’s why we came here, an outstanding performance. we suffered a little bit in the second half we were tired after the game in Stamford Bridge, and they had two more days off.”
“But when a team has the mentality to do it, we achieve something incredible. I know the Carabao Cup is not the Champions League but four times in a row to reach the final I’m so impressed. We didn’t score one goal in the set pieces this season lately we were close. Today two corners we score two goals,” Guardiola concluded.
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