Pep Guardiola defends Man City selection: ‘I did my best’

News Desk

A deflated Pep Guardiola defended selecting Ilkay Gundogan as a holding midfielder, despite the switch causing Manchester City clear problems in their Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.

The team selection of Guardiola was a major talking point in the post-match discussion of what went wrong for the Premier League champions.

Guardiola chose to go into the final without Fernandinho or Rodri having played at least one of the pair in all but one of their 59 games so far this season.

He said: “I did my best in the selection. I made the best selection to win the game, the players know it.

“I think Gundogan played well. We missed a little in the first half to break the lines, but in the second half it was much better. It was a tight game but we had enormous chances.

“I would like to say it was an exceptional, exceptional season for us. It is a big dream being here, but unfortunately we couldn’t win. We tried, we could not do it, and we will work to come back one day.”

16 Champions League final conclusions: Man City 0-1 Chelsea

Kevin De Bruyne trudged off with a painful-looking facial injury after clattering into Toni Rudiger, but Guardiola downplayed the severity of the issue.

“I don’t know about the pain he has in his face, I didn’t see him or speak to the doctor,” said Guardiola.

“But hopefully, hopefully it will not be a big problem.”

Guardiola immediately began to look ahead for next season.

He told BT Sport: “Exceptional season for us. It is an honour to be here. Today we are sad but when we analyse it was a successful season for us.

“It was a tough game. In the second half we were brilliant, we were brave but we could not convert the goals because they were so strong, so fast.

“We didn’t allow them to make the process to play, the players were exceptional, all of them, and we will come back again, maybe, one day.”