Ilkay Gundogan comments on the peculiar Pep Guardiola decision in the Man City and RB Leipzig draw

Man United

Ilkay Gundogan thinks Manchester City are prepared to play an entire game. Without making any substitutes, as occurred in Wednesday’s draw with RB Leipzig.

During the first leg of their round of 16 match, City returned to Champions League play. And left Germany with a 1-1 draw. First-half dominance went to the Blues, who also took the lead on a beautiful Riyad Mahrez goal.

Nevertheless, much like against Nottingham Forest, Pep Guardiola’s team missed their opportunities. And squandered their advantage after Josko Gvardiola tied the game with a strong header. After driving City back for the all of the second half, Leipzig were more than deserving of the equaliser. But, after the goal, the Blues rallied and were unfortunate not to be given a penalty in the waning seconds. A penalty for a handball by Benjamin Henrich.

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Guardiola’s opinions on Ilkay Gundogan

Gundogan has provided his opinion on Guardiola’s remarkable and rare choice to forgo making any substitutions, even when City’s chances of winning were slim. “It’s nothing we are not used to,” he said.

“He [Guardiola] will have his reasons not to make a sub. I felt like everyone on the pitch was feeling ok and was fresh and able to compete for the whole 90 minutes. It’s something we have to accept. We had good chances at the end to get a winner, but we’ll take the result and try to do better in the next game.”

Guardiola joked after the game that he didn’t necessarily had to utilise his substitutes just because he had them available before going into further detail about his reasoning. He acknowledged he thought about substituting Phil Foden but was pleased with how his team responded after giving up the goal and stressed the necessity for control.

“I was really pleased with what I was seeing,” he said. “With Phil to have this talent to do this, after the goal I thought immediately to bring Phil but we took the game in our hands.”

“With this control. Because they play with six upfront. Two fullbacks as wingers, four players incredible runners. Those positions you need control. That’s why the players we had, Gundogan, Riyad [Mahrez], you need extra passes.”

“Especially in the first leg, maybe second leg I decide to be crazy and play nine strikers and make up and downs. In this game I felt, I’ve been in this country and I need this type of control. Up and downs, it’s open, one or two actions from Gundo to give the ball to Erling they block it. These situations, German teams are better than us.”

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