Bayern legend has questioned the Catalan’s decision to omit Fernandinho and Rodri from his starting line-up against Chelsea
Pep Guardiola “stole the Champions League” from Manchester City supporters, according to Lothar Matthaus, who says the head coach deserves “harsh criticism” for his team selection in the final.
City suffered a painful 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in their first appearance in the European Cup final on Saturday, with a first-half effort from Kai Havertz proving to be the difference between the two sides.
Guardiola chose to start the game without Rodri or Fernandinho in a midfield role and Matthaus believes his job at the Etihad stadium could be under threat after seeing a major tactical risk backfired.
What was said?
“With his training he stole the Champions League from the club and the supporters and he rightly has to listen to harsh criticism from all sides,” the Bayern Munich legend said of Guardiola, who was a coach at the Allianz Arena between 2012 and 2015, in its last column for Sky Germany.
“I’m sure there will be internal discussions about whether to part ways with him. The players will doubt him since this final.
“He had to try something again, showcase some imaginary ingenuity at the worst possible time and totally deserve to lose.
“How can you play without a defensive midfielder in the most important game in club history, which was on the pitch in almost every game this season, which provides balance, which gives all people the necessary security involved?
“Why did he leave Rodri and / or Fernandinho out, started six forwards and also played without a center forward?”
Guardiola humiliated by Tuchel
Guardiola was ultimately foiled on the sideline at Estadio Do Dragao by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who formed his side in a tight-knit 3-4-2-1 formation that limited City’s threat in the last third of the land.
Les Bleus were the better team from the first whistle as Ilkay Gundogan struggled to make the kind of impact he has had in recent months, with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho often launching attacks after breaking up the game.
Timo Werner wasted two glorious chances to put Chelsea in the lead before Havertz made the breakthrough just before the interval, bypassing Ederson and tapping into an empty net after running on a Mason Mount ball.
Guardiola brought Fernandinho past the hour and returned to a more familiar setup in an effort to save the game, and Riyad Mahrez came close to a spectacular equalizer with a brilliant volley in the stoppage time, but the men de Tuchel finally held on in a famous victory.
The big picture
Guardiola may not have managed to clinch City’s first Champions League crown, but after taking the club further in the competition than ever before, his place in the Etihad Stadium dugout will likely remain secure for another season. .
The 50-year-old has also added a third Premier League title and a fourth consecutive Carabao Cup to his collection of silverware in England this season, and he signed a two-year contract extension last November that ties him to the club. until 2023.