Men’s Team

Guardiola: Garcia identified Watford shape

EAGLE-EYED ERIC: The youngster spotted a crucial tactical note in the pre-match warm-up
Pep Guardiola revealed Eric Garcia identified Watford's defensive shape after the young defender observed them during the warm up.

The 18-year-old made his first Premier League appearance as a second-half substitute in the 8-0 win over the Hornets and impressed with his composure on the ball. 

City's backroom staff were unsure whether Watford would line up with a back four or a back five, and it was an eagle-eyed Garcia who accurately identified their plan. 

Afterwards, Guardiola paid tribute to Garcia’s intelligence and confirmed he will play on Tuesday when City take on Preston on the Carabao Cup third round.

“He played in the Carabao Cup [last season] and was outstanding,” Guardiola said.

“Tuesday he will play against Preston. Incredibly clever guy, able to lead the line.

“With the ball, incredible, knows absolutely everything.

“Pays attention in the warm up. We had doubts about whether Watford would play four or five in the back - and he saw they made some movements in their warm-up that they would play four at the back.

“He’s so clever. Played well. He’s going to play a lot of minutes.”

REPORT | City 8-0 Watford

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Meanwhile, Guardiola says the decision to take Benjamin Mendy off at half-time was not due to a recurrence of his injury.

The French left-back made his first start this season after recovering from a long-term knee problem, before being substituted at half time.

Angelino replaced him - his first taste of action since re-signing for the Club in the summer - and Guardiola says he deserved his chance to showcase his ability. 

“Mendy is well but after two years playing few minutes, 45 minutes was enough,” he said.

“Angelino is incredible nice guy, training well, deserved to play. I saw many good things of him.

“In the back department, we don't have too many players. We play everyone.”

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