Guardiola jokes he is a 'genius' after substitutes lead Man City to victory
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Pep Guardiola was caught up in a weird moment during his post-match press conference after Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The conference doubled up as his pre-match conference for the FA Cup fixture against the Blues this weekend confusing the Spaniard as the sponsor’s board was changed halfway through.
Guardiola made headlines during the match after setting his side up in an unfamiliar system. Joao Cancelo lined up on the right wing while Rodri was left playing in a hybrid role between holding midfield and centre-back with the side struggling for much of the first half.
The Sky Blues boss changed things at half-time and reaped the rewards of his decision early in the second half. Rico Lewis was excellent after coming on to replace Cancelo while later substitutions, switching Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden with Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish, provided an instant return with the duo directly combining for the opening goal.
Guardiola discussed his decisions with the media after the match but was left surprised when the focus switched to Sunday’s FA Cup match against the same opposition halfway through. The sponsors board behind the 51-year-old had to be changed as a result with Guardiola querying whether or not he needed to change his jumper.
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The Spaniard was full of praise for 18-year-old full-back Lewis suggesting he completely changed the game for his team. The Englishman has won a place in the first team after the international break with the match at Stamford Bridge the first time he has been left out the starting line-up since the World Cup hiatus.
“It was not a good first half, it was sloppy, we didn’t create much, our pressing was so poor, we were not well organised,” he said after questions over his subsitutions. “The last games, Rico has shown the ability to make the midfield better.
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“There are players that play for themselves really well, but he has the ability to make all the team play better. Every moment he knows when to open inside, and what to do. He changed the game.
“Since we came back [from the World Cup] he’s playing and he’s a key player for us. He is a key player for us in the way we are playing right now.
“In the second half it was a completely different Man City, a different rhythm. He changed the dynamic from minute one.”
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