The Spaniard’s tactical plans backfired as the Citizens lost their first European final.
were defeated 1-0 byChelsea
in the Champions League final on Saturday.
started the game without having a defensive midfielder as he employedIlkay Gundogan
at the base of his side's midfield. The decision was criticized by many observers who felt this decision exposed Manchester City’s backline, creating spaces for the Blues’ forward to use long passes. Guardiola is once again accused of overthinking the big matches, but he believes he has made the best choices for his lineup.
"I did my best in the selection. Like last season against Olympique Lyon, like it was against PSG and Dortmund,"
the Spaniard told a post-match news conference.
"I did the selection best to win the game, the players know it. I think Gundogan played good, was exceptional. We missed a little but in the first half to break the lines. In the second half it was much better.
"It was a tight game. We had enormous almost chances.”
Despite starting the game with attacking players, the Citizens struggled to break Chelsea’s defensive lines.Kai Havertz
scored his first Champions League goal in the 42nd minute as Manchester City’s backline was shocked byMason Mount
’s long-range pass.
"Against Chelsea it's not easy but it wasn't for them either. They had the goal and Werner's shot in the first half and Pulisic in the second half.
"We struggled a little bit for the long balls, they used the second balls and after they run.
"In that moment, you need inspiration and quality. There were three or four moments with crosses from the byline but we did not arrive."
Asked about Gundogan’s starting position, Guardiola responded:
"I decided a decision to have quality players,
"Gundogan played many years in this position, to have speed on the ball, find the small players, the brilliant players in between the lines and this was the decision."