Guardiola: City were ‘scared to play’ before opener in rout


Date published: Tuesday 12th March 2019 11:57

Pep Guardiola said that Manchester City “decided to play” after Sergio Aguero opened the scoring against Schalke.

It was goalless for the opening 30 minutes at the Etihad, but after Sergio Aguero scored a quick brace, City never looked back on their way to the 7-0 win.

Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva joined the Argentinian on the scoresheet, as did second-half substitutes Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

“It was a clear result. We are happy to get to the quarter-finals,” said Guardiola, speaking to BT Sport after the win. “We didn’t start that well, we were a bit scared to play. But after it went 1-0, we relaxed and decided to play and be aggressive.”

“Of course with the qualification already secured, it was tough for them and we kept a good level. We have a lot of injured players so we want to continue this run and get those players back fit.

“Everyone has to compete with each other to play. They all want to play. Everybody tried to play, be bold and keep going.

While there was nothing wrong with City’s flow, the game lacked it as there were lengthy VAR stoppages for almost all of the hosts’ goals.

“They need to be a little bit quicker to make decisions but it is fair,” continued Guardiola. “The two penalties went against us from VAR in Germany but at the end it is fair.

“At the end that is what we are looking for. Hopefully in the Premier League next season that is what can happen. I am happy with VAR. Hopefully it can be quicker than today.

“I like the teams who deserve to win, go through. Sometimes you don’t go through for wrong decisions. It helps referees to make those decisions fairly.”