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‘Pep Guardiola should apologise to every single Manchester City player’

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City
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Jamie O’Hara gave a scathing review of Pep Guardiola after Manchester City’s 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.

Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara has branded Pep Guardiola’s selection as a ‘disgrace’ and believes the Catalan cost Manchester City the Champions League.

Guardiola raised a few eyebrows in Saturday’s final by benching Fernandinho and Rodri. It left City without a natural holding midfielder and it’s fair to say the gamble backfired big time.

The Premier League champions weren’t as effective and rarely troubled Chelsea. Even Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne, arguably two of the club’s best performers this season, appeared uncertain in new roles.

Kai Havertz’s first-half goal was enough to condemn Guardiola to a first cup final defeat as City manager.

“It’s one of the worst performances I’ve seen from Manchester City in a long time,” said O’Hara on talkSPORT.

“Bottle jobs. And an absolute disaster of a team selection from Pep Guardiola.

“I cannot believe he got it so wrong in such a big moment… with no holding midfielder. If Timo Werner could shoot, it would have been 3-0 at half-time. They [Chelsea] were all over them.

“I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was a disgrace from Pep Guardiola.”

Guardiola made it no secret that he felt an attacking-minded approach was needed to win the final.

The 50-year-old’s belief in this theory prompted him to not change his team during the break, which left O’Hara very unimpressed.

“Guardiola’s arrogance at half-time to not hold his hands up and say, ‘I’ve got this wrong, we’re still in the game, I need to bring Fernandinho on now and get it sorted’,” added the 34-year-old.

“He waited until the 64th minute to change it and then they were in control, but you can’t break down this Chelsea team in half an hour. You need a longer period of time. It was too little, too late.

“Pep Guardiola should go in that dressing room and apologise to every single player because he’s the one that’s cost them the Champions League.”

Guardiola, though, stood by his decision. Even after City lost the Champions League final in Portugal. He claimed Gundogan did ‘good’ as the club’s deepest-lying midfielder and was pleased by his side’s response in the second half.