Pep Guardiola has joked that he uses his good looks to transmit messages to his Manchester City players after his side’s draw with Liverpool on Saturday.
Man City and Liverpool played out a 1-1 draw at the Etihad at the weekend, with Trent Alexander-Arnold equalising after Erling Haaland had given Guardiola’s team the lead.
Guardiola and Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp had limited preparation for the match, a 12:30pm kick-off time making it the first Premier League fixture after the international break.
Guardiola made light of the situation at the end of the match, revealing he made time for private conversations with defenders Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker to address mistakes in the 4-4 draw at Chelsea after they returned from international duty.
Asked how his players managed to take information on board for the Liverpool game with such limited preparation time, he said: “Because I’m really good. I’m a handsome man and I seduce them and we did it.
“So, I’m really good. Today we have the TV, the images, and we talk individually and moving that way. I spoke with Ruben with what happened at Chelsea, I spoke with Kyle with what happened at Chelsea. I talked about it in this specific way. And after they made mistakes, they just understand what you have to do.”
Guardiola explained that City did precious little training before the clash with Liverpool, with the manager unable to risk several players due to injury fears.
He pointed to the stress placed on his squad at the end of last season, when they participated in the FA Cup and Champions League finals in the space of seven days, and revealed the City squad will spend just 10 minutes on the training field before Tuesday’s European clash with RB Leipzig.
He said: “In seven years, I don’t train. Maximum 35 minutes. We don’t train. They started pre-season 15 days before. Do you know what 15 days is?
“We played the FA Cup final and then the Champions League final. They had 15 days more with the new players. We didn’t do one day of tactical.
“It’s the same for Jurgen, I’m pretty sure. The day before this game, we did 10-15 minutes with the ball and 10 minutes defensively.
“Before Tuesday it will be 10 minutes on the pitch, moving in that way. We cannot train. If we train, we don’t have players for the next game. We don’t have them. That’s why we have to learn from the past: just understand what you have to do. The press, who jumps – this is what we absolutely rely on.”
Having won all of their opening four matches in the Champions League, victory at home to RB Leipzig on Tuesday would guarantee that City finish top of Group G.