Derby defeat down to Pep Guardiola's 'overthinking': Micah Richards, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Derby defeat down to Pep Guardiola's 'overthinking': Micah Richards

Citizens book League Cup final berth despite second derby defeat this season

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards believes Pep Guardiola's "overthinking" and tactical tweaks were the cause of their defeat by local rivals Manchester United yesterday morning (Singapore time).

City lost the second leg of their League Cup semi-final 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium, but still booked their final date with Aston Villa after winning the first leg at Old Trafford 3-1.

Nemanja Matic, who was sent off in the 76th minute, got the only goal of the game 10 minutes before half-time with one of United's two shots on target as City missed a host of chances and had efforts ruled out.

This is the second time United have beaten City at the Etihad this season, making Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only the third manager - after Jose Mourinho and Juergen Klopp- to win two away matches against Guardiola.


Commenting on City's 3-2-4-1 formation on Sky Sports, ex-England defender Richards said: "For me, they had a good 15 minutes and then United worked them out.

"I saw Raheem (Sterling) receiving the ball in his own half. I saw Bernardo (Silva) doing the same on the opposite side.

"I'm thinking - why not play 4-3-3? It felt like a training game for City at times.

"The game is still 1-0, you've got to make changes early. I'm no manager, and I don't want to go on about Pep's tactics and style of play, but you've got Kyle Walker, who's arguably one of the best right-backs in the league, playing as a centre-half.

"You've got (Joao) Cancelo playing left-back. You've got Rodri dropping into centre-back and you've got this box in midfield where they are all doing similar jobs...

"Tonight I felt he (Guardiola) was overthinking little things he didn't need to do."

Guardiola explained his tactical tweaks, saying they were prompted by United's speedy attackers.

He said: "I thought they were going to play with two incredible, fast strikers and we need legs to defend... (Mason) Greenwood the first half and (Anthony) Martial the second with Daniel James.

"Both Kyle (Walker) and Joao (Cancelo) are so quick. That was the reason why...

"In 180 minutes, we were better than United. We created chances to score a lot of goals and didn't convert. We need to learn to be more clinical."

City's midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne agreed that his side were too "sloppy" against the Red Devils.

He said: "I can't really comprehend how we lost this game. I think we got sloppy.

"For me, Manchester United didn't have one chance today."

Fellow midfielder Ilkay Guendogan added: "We should have scored early in the first half.

"We should have scored at least one or two goals today, but it wasn't to be."

Solskjaer, meanwhile, was focused on Matic's dismissal, calling it an "absolute joke".

He said: "It's hard to score with 11 here, never mind 10.

"Never a sending-off. For me, an absolute joke.

"It's ironic really that he gets a yellow with his first foul, almost gets a yellow with his second foul, which isn't even a foul.

"The last one is a yellow, but a red overall? Nowhere near."