Pep Guardiola made the biggest mistake of his managing career by starting Raheem Sterling instead of Fernandinho and it showed as Manchester City lost out in the Champions League final to Chelsea by a goal to nil and failing to have more than one shot on goal.
Manchester City Fall at Final Hurdle in Champions League Quest
Guardiola Tactically Beaten in Champions League Final
Sterling started because of his pace and what influence he could bring to the game. A costly mistake and an inability to create any chances is what returned. In addition, Sterling’s poor finishing led to counterattacks and the City’s defence broke down. Chelsea eventually made them pay when Kai Havertz scored. It should be noted, during the goal sequence John Stones was out of position and Oleksandr Zinchenko did not help out Ederson. However, Ederson unlikely to prevent Havertz from scoring.
On the other hand, if Fernandinho started Manchester City would have fewer defensive errors. Fernandinho is one of the captains and Manchester City played their best football with him being the defensive leader. It’s mind-blowing after the victories versus Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain, that Guardiola would change his tactics. Reece James was dominant in his duels with Sterling. Beating him every time and Sterling could do nothing about it. Without a doubt, some players in the Manchester City locker room might never be able to trust Guardiola after his terrible decision. It may cost him his job as City may not able to win the Champions League under him.
Guardiola overthought and it backfired as he did not do overthink in previous knockout games this season. Did he not respect Chelsea because before the game because Chelsea struggled at the end of the season? The biggest mistake Guardiola made was not starting a defensive midfielder and striker. Potentially Gabriel Jesus or Sergio Aguero. Jesus only came on because Kevin De Bruyne got hurt early in the second half. A striker is needed to win this cup and they brought Aguero on way too late.
N’Golo Kante Masterclass
N’Golo Kante dominated Manchester City. Every time City wanted to create a chance he prevented it. Without a doubt, the best player on the pitch. Kante won man of the match in Chelsea’s last four Champions League games.
Zinedine Zidane Could Replace Guardiola After Final Disaster
Sacking Guardiola and replacing him with Zinedine Zidane should not be out of the question. Zidane won three straight Champions League titles with Real Madrid. The Frenchman will not change his tactics. He would play his best team during the season. Also, Zidane brings Champions League pedigree and knows how to win the finals. While Guardiola won two at Barcelona it was because he had one of the best footballers ever in Lionel Messi. Most managers win the Champions League with those Barcelona teams.
Furthermore, Zidane could bring in players who have won Champions League titles. Manchester City players did not know how to respond once they went a goal down. Sometimes tough decisions are necessary and sacking Guardiola would be justified. He’s failed to do what he was hired to do to win the Champions League for Manchester City.
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