Guardiola admits Man City ‘suffered’ vs Dortmund; hints at change after Mahrez’s latest pen miss

Lewis Oldham
Guardiola reacts to draw

Pep Guardiola has admitted that his Man City players “suffered” against Borussia Dortmund as they were “so tired” after their win over Brighton.

City returned to winning ways over the weekend as they beat Brighton 3-1 at the Etihad in the Premier League.

On Tuesday night they were in Germany to face Dortmund in their fifth game in Group G.

Man City were already guaranteed a spot in the last-16 stage of the Champions League ahead of this midweek clash.

The visitors were fortunate to not be behind before the break as Dortmund were unable to make the most of their chances on the counter-attack.

City had a chance to win the game in the second-half as they were awarded a penalty.

Riyad Mahrez’s effort was saved and he has now failed to score three of his last four spot-kicks for Man City.

The game finished 0-0 but Guardiola will not be too downhearted as this point was enough for his side to seal top spot in their group. This draw also sees Dortmund progress to the next stage.

City‘s focus will now switch back to the Premier League as they travel to face Leicester City on Saturday.

Ahead of this clash, Guardiola recognised Dortmund’s dangers as he admitted that the Brighton game took some of City’s energy away.

“We managed the second half and in the first half we conceded some counter-attacks – they are so fast. We suffered as a team, the game on Saturday was so tiring,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“It’s what we wanted, top of the group and we will be in the last 16 next time so really good. Dortmund did not want to press high so we adjusted a bit our pressing. In the first half we had problems down the left side. Apparently, they thought a draw was good for them and for us as well.”

On taking off Erling Haaland and Joao Cancelo at half time, he added: “Erling has had a bit of a fever before the game. Joao had a bit of a kick on his foot, that’s why we changed it.”

On whether Mahrez will continue to take penalties after missing again, Guardiola continued: “We will see what happens. Of course, it’s a problem – we have missed 24 or 25 penalties, most of them in the Champions League and it’s too much.

“I admire the courage to take penalties but this is a problem and we have to improve. These are the little margins in this competition.

“Last season he scored a lot in important moments, here when we got to the semi-final. I admire the courage but of course we have to improve.”

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