Men's Team

Pep: Youngsters did us proud

PEP WATCH: The manager observes from the touchline on his 100th Champions League game as a manager.
Pep Guardiola was not too downhearted after City’s first loss of the season.

After making seven changes from the weekend, the Blues’ boss felt the youngsters who took part against Shakhtar did themselves and the Club proud.

“Congratulations to Shakhtar, they made it a good game, but we did too,” said Pep.

“We started really well but their first goal was magnificent while their second I felt we didn’t defend too well.

“But we fought, and I’m so pleased for Tosin, Brahim and Phil for how well they played in the Champions League against a really good team in Shakhtar Donetsk.

“They are resilient and talented players and the people saw it. We came here to win, we couldn’t, but we were there until the end to trying to do so.

“We had already qualified, so we tried to put one player there up front and changed things a little bit.

“We were helped by Fernandinho in our build up because Tosin and Mangala have other qualities from that and we created good spaces outside because they defend really well. I’m pleased and happy for the performance.”

With the Blues now aware of the six clubs that could potentially be the Round of 16 opposition, Pep said he isn’t too concerned who City draw next Monday because much can happen in the two months in between.

“In this kind of situation in the Champions League there is a lot of talk about the draw and it depends how the team arrive in that moment, on that day,” he said.

“Maybe you are good today and in February you are a disaster or the opposite. It will be tough, the three contenders are tough [Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich] and so are the others but we are going to try.

“Now we are going to rest and we are going to go back tomorrow to prepare for the game on Sunday.”

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