Pep Guardiola “It’s not easy when Newcastle don’t want to play”
Two managers who have both won La Liga and the Champions League, Pep Guardiola and Rafa Benitez met on Wednesday night.
Neither of them are yet to win the Premier League but that could be set to change shortly…
Manchester City made it 18 Premier League wins in a row, they have 58 points out of a possible 60, and are 15 points clear.
Rafa Benitez went with half a reserve side as he looked after key players ahead of two relegation clashes in the space of 48 hours on Saturday/Monday – but it will be his ultra defensive tactics that will be much talked about in the coming days.
For 70/75 minutes the entire Newcastle team sat back in their own half as Man City played attack v defence, then in the final stages the Magpies almost snatched a draw as with added subs the homes side had pace on the pitch that troubled the visitors with their pressing and counter-attacking.
Pep Guardiola said ‘It’s not easy when Newcastle don’t want to play’ but indicated that he understood the situation Rafa faces at St James Park under Mike Ashley, stating ‘Rafa is an example for Spanish managers…he knows the players here (at Newcastle) and knows exactly what they have to do’.
“As a manager I have to adapt. In these 18 games, we have played teams who high press, low press, attack us. Any manager and team can play how they want. And you have to find a way to beat them.
“We deserved to win..
“It’s not easy when Newcastle don’t want to play.
“They defend well and want to counter-attack and defend deep. It’s not easy.
“We created chances in the first half and the beginning of the second.
“In the last minutes… it was a little bit more complicated.
“We created chances. At half-time it could have been three or four.
“It’s okay. When you’re winning 18 games in a row, you have 10/15 mins (when Newcastle threatened at the end) in that way but we are so happy.
“Rafa is an example for Spanish managers, he came here (to the Premier League) with Liverpool and did a magnificent job, he knows the players here (at Newcastle) and knows exactly what they have to do.
“He knows what is good or not.
“The support here can make it complicated for you and 1-0 is always dangerous.
“At 2-0 it’s all over but 1-0 is always complicated.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Manchester City 1
Man City: Sterling 31
Possession was Man City 78% Newcastle 22%
Total shots were Man City 21 Newcastle 6
Shots on target were Man City 6 Newcastle 2
Corners were Man City 8 Newcastle 3
Referee: Andre Marriner
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Mbemba (Merino 77), Dummett, Manquillo, Diame, Shelvey, Murphy, Aarons (Atsu 71), Joselu (Gayle 62)
Darlow, Clark, Perez, Ritchie
Crowd: 52,311 (Man City 3,000)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game – Read HERE)
(Give us your fan ratings on all 14 Newcastle players HERE)
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