The coach praised the effort of his players despite their late defeat at the Etihad Stadium, with Medhi Benatia’s early sending-off having left them in a precarious position
Pep Guardiola has hailed his Bayern Munich players despite suffering a 3-2 Champions League defeat to Manchester City.
The Bavarians were reduced to 10 men only 20 minutes into the group E encounter at the Etihad Stadium when Medhi Benatia was red-carded for a professional foul on City’s Sergio Aguero.
And while Bayern recovered from Aguero’s resulting penalty to take a 2-1 lead, the Argentine went on to record a hat-trick late on to rob Guardiola’s men of a point.
But the Spaniard stated after the match that his short-handed side could not have done any more on the night.
“I’m so proud to come here to England, to Manchester City, one of the best teams in England, and with 10 against 11,” the Catalan told reporters. “At the end football is a pleasure to play as you want and the players did that.
“They played with the ball many, many, many times because we believe we can rest with 10 against 11 with the ball.
“We can’t run, we cannot rest when they have the ball. In that moment, we are dead because [Samir] Nasri, Aguero, [James] Milner, [Jesus] Navas – they are such dangerous players.
“We dominated but we made two mistakes, that happens, and that is why we lost. But I am sad for the players because they don’t deserve today to lose. They played amazing.”
Bayern have already booked their place in the knockout stage of the competition, but losses in dead rubbers last season were blamed for the derailing of their defence of the European title last season.
Yet Guardiola is not concerned that defeats such as the one at the Etihad will have a negative effect on the Bundesliga leaders.
“We won the league [last season] and we just lost against Real Madrid because we didn’t play well in the first 45 minutes of the second leg. We didn’t control their amazing counterattacking. That’s why we lost,” insisted the 43-year-old.
“At the end, of course, we are sad because we lost but tomorrow is another day. We have finished first in the group and we just learn that football is sometimes about individual mistakes. But, at the end of the day, we were tired.”