‘Fights happen’: Pep Guardiola reveals he was LIVID with Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez as they did not do what was asked of them defensively despite pair scoring in crushing win over RB Leipzig
- Manchester City beat RB Leipzig 6-3 in their first Champions League group game
- Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez both ended up on the scoresheet for City
- Both players were reprimanded by an angry Pep Guardiola during the contest
- Guardiola confirmed the pair did not do what was asked of them defensively
Pep Guardiola revealed he publicly argued with Manchester City goalscorers Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish during their 6-3 win over RB Leipzig as they did not do their defensive jobs on Wednesday night.
City romped to a 6-3 victory over the Bundesliga outift in their first Champions League group stage win with Grealish and Mahrez both ending up on the scoresheet, but Guardiola called both players over to confront them over their tactical games.
The Spanish coach revealed that both players did not do what was asked of them during the half-time team talk at the Etihad Stadium, which led to the angry confrontation on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola argued with Riyad Mahrez (left) and Jack Grealish over their defensive work
The ManCity boss was seen arguing with the attackers during his side’s big win over RB Leipzig
Guardiola told BT Sport: ‘We spoke in half-time about the way we have to do it and they didn’t do it. Fights happen.
‘They are so good, they make four players in the build up to attract you behind the holding midfielders where there aren’t a lot of players, where the ball goes outside and they are so fast when they attack in behind.
‘It’s not easy to control it but when you regain that ball there are many players in front of the ball and in the transition to make one or two passes in behind you have a chance to attack.’
Explaining the angry discussion with Guardiola himself, Grealish – who assisted another goal on Wednesday alongside scoring one – told BT Sport: ‘That was just defensive work, I won’t go too much into it because he might want the same tactics at the weekend.
Mahrez (right) put City 3-1 up with a penalty in the first-half after Lukas Klostermann’s handball
‘That’s what the manager is like, he’s always wanting more defensively and offensively, and he’s obviously someone that I’m going to listen to after everything he’s done in the game. He’s just giving out useful information.’
City stormed into a two-goal lead early on via Nathan Ake’s header from a corner, before Nordi Mukiele comically headed Kevin de Bruyne’s cross into his own net in a backpass attempt to goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
Leipzig forward Christoph Nkunku hauled Jesse Marsch’s Leipzig back into the contest by halving the deficit with a header, but City’s two-goal lead was restored by Mahrez’s penalty following Lukas Klostermann’s handball.
Grealish curled home a brilliant solo effort to put City 4-2 up on the night, winning 6-3 overall
Nkunku struck again after the break to ramp up the nerves once again for City but then Grealish’s big moment arrived on his first ever European game, with the England man cutting inside on a counter-attack before curling a wonderful effort into the top corner.
Leipzig notched the pressure up once again with Nkunku’s low effort inside the box earning him the matchball, but Joao Cancelo’s wonderstrike from distance re-established City’s lead almost immediately.
Former City defender Angelino marked his return to the Etihad Stadium by quashing Leipzig’s chances of another fightback by earning a second yellow card late on, before Gabriel Jesus scored from close range after a corner was cleared away.
The goal came in midfielder Grealish’s (left) first ever Champions League match in his career
Grealish, who was making his Champions League debut following his £100million move to City from Aston Villa over the summer, admitted he had been looking forward to the Leipzig game for some time and it lived up to its billing.
‘I loved it,’ he added. ‘I’ve been waiting a while. The past few weeks, I couldn’t wait for this game. It’s a great night.
‘It was one of those games. It had absolutely everything. In the end we’re delighted to get the win against a good team full of energy and young players. I’m delighted to come away with the three points – and the goal and assist.’
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