Pep Guardiola pays Newcastle United the ultimate compliment with ‘destroy us’ claim

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has paid Newcastle United the ultimate compliment.

Pep Guardiola has revealed he changed his Manchester City tactics purely to nullify ‘magnificent’ Newcastle United’s attacking threat.

Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup holders City beat the Magpies 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday night following Julian Alvarez’s 31st minute goal.

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Guardiola admitted after the game to fielding extra players in the midfield in order to take more control their passing. The Spaniard feared an open game would see Eddie Howe’s men “destroy” his team.

AFP via Getty Images

The former Barcelona man said: “We won already one title, we are six points from six, we have scored goals, we don’t concede much chances, not even at Burnley and today against Newcastle; an exceptional, exceptional team.

“We spoke a lot; in an open game, in a transition game, they will destroy us, so we have to make a lot of control with a lot of passes. That’s why we put a lot of players in the middle to have extra, extra passes, and in the right moment we will find the moment.

“And Manu (Akanji) again, in a position he’s never played in in his life – holding midfielder, left. With Rodri, with Cole (Palmer), with Phil (Foden), with Julian (Alvarez), with Kyle (Walker), that four has done offensive, defensively… With Jack (Grealish) still they have not the brilliance now in the final third, we need him. But what can I say? When he behaves against (Kieran) Trippier, against (Miguel) Almiron, helping Josko (Gvardiol), and all the time, when you see that, after what we have done, what can you say?! Just hats off my friends, I love you so much, okay rest and go for another one, for another game.

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“When you have that, it’s because the team is so special, otherwise we cannot do what we have done for many, many, many years. It’s impossible. And today, it amazed me and made me happy because still, okay, why should we not do it? Every day we have to do our job, not always our best, that is why they have to do it. And they have done it really, really good.”

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