Champions League: Guardiola Ready To Learn From 2021 Final

By: Gyang Dakwo

Pep Guardiola has admitted he may have made mistakes in his team selection when Manchester City lost against Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final.

City which face Internazionale on Saturday in the final in Istanbul are attempting to complete the treble, with Kyle Walker a doubt because of a back problem.

Against Chelsea in Porto two years ago, Guardiola’s decision to drop João Cancelo and Rodri, his usual left-back and central midfielder, and choose Raheem Sterling, who had lost his regular place, caused shock and surprise.

City lost 1-0 to a Kai Havertz strike and the manager received criticism for his selection. On Tuesday he was asked whether this was fair, and whether the experience might affect his decision-making for Saturday.

“It was a gameplan like it will be next Saturday,” Guardiola said. “If I tell you privately the reason why I took the decision in that moment you could say it was right but it is simple: ‘If I lose, I am wrong, if I win I am right.’ You have to accept that in this business. It was a tight game and in many things we were better than them but we lost. Would I do something different now? Maybe but that doesn’t count.”

Walker did not participate in the training session on Tuesday, City’s first since their FA Cup final triumph against Manchester United last Saturday, in which he was replaced towards the end.

The meeting with Inter, who finished 18 points behind Napoli in Serie A, is City’s second appearance in the final of Europe’s premier club competition.