Thursday, October 21, 2021

Pep Guardiola explains why he yelled at Riyad Mahrez in Man City win

Pep Guardiola says he was unhappy with Riyad Mahrez for ignoring his half-time instructions during Manchester City’s thrilling 6-3 victory against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Spanish coach recorded his 87th win in the competition – overtaking Arsene Wenger into third place – in what was the highest-scoring European game of his career, with Nathan Ake, Jack Grealish, Joao Cancelo, Gabriel Jesus and Mahrez all getting on the scoresheet.

City looked like they could score at will but were very open at the back themselves too, with Christopher Nkunku netting a hat-trick which had briefly kept Leipzig in the game.

Despite his side netting six goals, Guardiola was a frustrated and agitated figure throughout and in the 63rd minute, with City 4-2 ahead, called Mahrez over to the touchline and berated him, screaming in his face.

Grealish also received similar treatment, with the manager clearly unhappy with the application of his attacking players, revealing afterwards that neither player had taken on board his half-time instructions on how to combat Leipzig.

Asked why he was so unhappy with Mahrez and Grealish, Guardiola told BT Sport: ‘We spoke in half-time about the way we had to do it and they didn’t do it. But it happens.

Asked what message Guardiola had been trying to drill into him, Grealish himself explained: ‘That was just defensive work. I won’t go too much into it because he might want the same tactics for the weekend!

Reflecting on the match and Leipzig’s performance, Guardiola added: ‘It’s not normal, nine goals. They never gave up, they have a special way to attack, to play. We are not used to it.

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