Pep Guardiola insists he has ‘NO regrets’ over making SEVEN changes to his Manchester City team for last-gasp defeat by Leeds ahead of critical fortnight in quest for the quadruple
- Guardiola made seven changes from the team that beat Dortmund on Tuesday
- De Bruyne was left on the bench as Ake made his first outing since Boxing Day
- There were also recalls for out-of-favour Mendy and out-of-sorts Sterling
- Dallas grabbed an injury time winner for 10-man Leeds on Saturday
Pep Guardiola strongly defended his team selection as Manchester City began a critical fortnight in four different competitions with a shock 2-1 home defeat against ten-man Leeds.
Guardiola made seven changes from the team that beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on Tuesday and left Kevin de Bruyne on the bench as Leeds grabbed an injury time winner through Stuart Dallas despite having skipper Liam Cooper dismissed after 45 minutes.
It represented a blow for City who now meet Dortmund on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League quarter final before facing Chelsea at Wembley next weekend. The following week they meet Spurs in the Carabao Cup final – the first leg of a potential Quadruple.
Pep Guardiola made seven changes from the team that beat Dortmund on Tuesday
Guardiola gave Nathan Ake his first outing since Boxing Day and there were also recalls on Saturday for Benjamin Mendy and out-of-sorts Raheem Sterling – and the City boss was adamant he’d do the same again.
‘When you win you are a genius,’ he retorted. ‘Not when you lose but I don’t have any regret about about them. All of them were fantastic, Nathan, Benji.
‘When you lose a game you realise how difficult it is what we have done so far, winning 27 games in 28.
‘The next four games, three are like finals, Champions League. FA Cup, Carabao Cup.
Defender Nathan Ake (left) made his first appearances for Manchester City since Boxing Day
‘We have confidence for those games. Defeat sometimes is necessary to understand how difficult it is what we have done.’
City’s lead in the Premier League could be cut to only eight points by the time they next play in that competition on April 21 because Manchester United are in action twice before then.
Guardiola was disappointed his side allowed Leeds to score a counter-attack winner late on having seen his side draw level after 76 minutes through Ferran Torres.
‘You cannot let Leeds run at you when you control the game,’ he said.
Manchester City draw level after 76 minutes through winger Ferran Torres
‘They defended so deep but before the goal we conceded a run. Then it happened again and they won the game.
We created chances but not too clear because our crosses were not precise and in the box we are not the best headers.
‘We had many more shots but football does not work like that. Bayern Munich had more than 30 shots against PSG last week and lost.’
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