Premier League

Manchester City

EFL Cup

TIMELINE

Pep Guardiola dismisses claims Etihad grass was grown longer against Liverpool

City cut Liverpool's advantage at the top to four points with a win that was secured through goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane last Thursday.
By Ian Parker, | 15d

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed claims he ordered the grass to be grown longer at the Etihad Stadium ahead of last week's 2-1 win over Liverpool which reignited the Premier League title race.

City cut Liverpool's advantage at the top to four points with a win that was secured through goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane last Thursday night.

But the match prompted a theory from some Liverpool supporters that City had sought to slow the pace of the game by not cutting the grass to the usual level.

There were claims Pep Guardiola ordered the grass to be grown longer for the Liverpool clash (Martin Rickett/PA)

"I am not the groundskeeper," Guardiola said. "I never did. If Liverpool want to play quick, we want to play quicker. Never we manipulated it, always we try to put water (on the pitch) but it's not necessary here with the weather, it rains a lot.

"We want to cut the field all the time, all my career, 10 years as a manager. The better conditions for both teams, I never put in some trick about this.

"Always when you do this, karma or something punishes you. You have to do the best for the opponents, for the game, respect the game and the rules.

"I never speak with the groundsmen...how many issues do I have in my head to think about the pitch? I trust the groundsmen. I never made a phone call to say 'do this to damage our opponents'."

Though last Thursday's victory was a huge night for City and their hopes of retaining the Premier League title, they have been distracted by cup competitions since.

Guardiola's men thrashed Rotherham 7-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday and are now focused on Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Burton.

The League Cup was the first trophy Guardiola lifted as a manager in England, though he admitted it remained lower on the list of priorities.

"Winning is important, we cannot deny it, we are here in the semi-finals and it's one step to go back to Wembley, that's why we take it seriously in that game once we are here," he said.

"It's true the Carabao Cup is the more local competition. Everybody is happy to win but nobody is sad if they go out in that competition. Once we are here, we are going to try."

Those priorities are likely to be reflected in a much-changed City side, with Aro Muric expected to start in goal and Phil Foden likely to be handed another opportunity in midfield.

It is the sort of match Brahim Diaz would have started but – having rejected a new deal from City – the 19-year-old signed for Real Madrid this week in a deal which could be worth up to £22million.

Asked if he was disappointed to lose Diaz, Guardiola said: "No. I said many times, we did with Brahim the same we did with Phil (Foden) and Jadon (Sancho), we did absolutely everything but in the end the only one who decides to stay is Phil so that's all.

"We wish him all the best. Of course going to Real Madrid is not a bad step and hopefully he can get the minutes he didn't get in the last period for many reasons. Nice guy.

"On the other side, again, congratulations for our academy, they are working so well and in the end this is what happens, important teams in Europe want to sign our players because it's working really well."



amp_article_346302 : Collect and Make Data not in DataBase  : 
last updated article - 2019-01-08 15:48:40:
html db last update - 2019-01-22 08:53:41 :

ex - 7200 : read : write cache and make html

Click here for more stories about Pep Guardiola

Click here for more stories about Manchester City

Share this article now:

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Loading ...
Recommended Next on SM
Clough urges Burton to savour experience as they chase Man City upset
Live Commentary: Burton Albion vs. Man City
Report: Mata contract talks still ongoing
Man City 'to rival Real Madrid for Dybala'

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
X

We value your privacy

A part of our GDPR compliance we need to ask for your consent. We and our partners use technology such as cookies on Sports Mole to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on Sports Mole.