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‘Pep Guardiola stole the Champions League from Manchester City’

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City
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Lothar Matthaus delivered a brutal verdict on Pep Guardiola’s tactics after Manchester City’s 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.

Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus reckons Pep Guardiola’s tactics effectively robbed Manchester City and the club’s supporters of the Champions League.

Criticism has been coming Guardiola’s way since Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea. In City’s first-ever final in the competition, the Catalan made a bold gamble. He started without a natural holding midfielder, having benched Fernandinho and Rodri, and it backfired big time.

City fell short of their usual high standards in Portugal, and Kai Havertz’s first-half goal was enough to condemn the Premier League champions to defeat.

But rather than just question Guardiola’s tactics, Matthaus has claimed the City manager’s future could now be on the line.

“With his line-up, he stole the Champions League from the club and the fans and he has to rightly listen to the harsh criticism from all sides,” he wrote in his latest Sky Germany column.

“I am sure that there will be internal discussions about whether to part with him. The players will doubt him since that final.

“He had to try something again, present an imaginary ingenuity at the worst possible moment and totally deserved to lose.

“How can you play without a defensive midfielder in the most important game in club history, who was on the pitch in almost every game of the season, who ensures the balance, who gives everyone involved the necessary security?

“Why did he leave Rodri and/or Fernandinho out, start six attacking players and also play without a center-forward?”

Although Guardiola signed a new contract with City until 2023 back in November and has recently reiterated plans to continue at the Etihad Stadium.