Interviews

Guardiola pleased with Zinchenko’s positional switch

Pep Guardiola was pleased with how Oleksandr Zinchenko adapted to a new midfield role to help Manchester City beat Paris Saint-Germain in a thrilling Champions League encounter.

With Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish ruled out, the Ukrainian started in the engine room as City won 2-1 to deservedly take all three points.

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Having arrived at the Club as a midfielder, Zinchenko has been converted into a full-back by Guardiola and was thrust into his old position for the opening 54 minutes against the French outfit.

It was only when Foden was declared unavailable that Zinchenko was made aware of his switch to midfield and the City boss was impressed with his performance, particularly given how little time he had to prepare.

“No [we didn’t have time to practice],” Guardiola said at his post-match press conference.

“But, we know each other quite well, the principles and what we have to do. They are smart enough to make some adjustments.

“Oleks today was new to the position, but in the national team he plays in midfield. He made good actions and helped us, because he is intelligent, to defend well.

“It’s a long time ago since he played there. I would say he almost never plays this position.

“It was not easy to find the spaces. The first few minutes were uncomfortable but after that he played much better.”

Watch the full press conference in the video above.

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