After what was 1-1 draw against Leipzig in Germany for the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League and prior to next Saturday’s duel against Bournemouth that can leave him as the leader of the Premier, Joseph Guardiola spoke again with the press and explained the reason for the substitution and shortage of minutes of Julian Alvarezone of the important cards he has in the attack.
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Pepwho did not try modifications throughout the entire match played against the Germans, pointed out why he did not send the Argentine striker onto the field: “I was about to put Julián in the second half close to Erling to be more aggressive, but we conceded a goal”. It is worth mentioning that the English took advantage in the initial stage through the Algerian Riyad Mahrez, but at minute 70 it was the Croatian Josko Gvardiol (the one whom Messi dribbled before assisting Álvarez in the semifinals of the World Cup in Qatar ) scored the tie that would be final.
Guardiola had been strict when it came to answering why he had not made substitutions against Leipzig: “I have the possibility to make substitutions because they are the rules of the game; but I am a very good coach to decide if I have to make substitutions or not”. As it is, the Spider He was one of the athletes who watched the entire process from the bench, reinforcing a trend since he returned to City after the World Cup: he was substitute in 9 of 15 gamesjust entered in 5 and to top it all off two of those occasions were to play injury time.
In the last days, the journalist San Lee, who covers the daily life of the heavenly side of Manchester for the medium The Athleticanalyzed: “It’s quite simple actually. Julián Álvarez is an excellent footballer, City hold him in high regard even before winning the World Cup, but Haaland surpasses him. Guardiola wants more control than direct football this season and that means Haaland and De Bruyne usually play. When Álvarez has started in the Premier is when Kevin De Bruyne has not played”.
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His analysis, collected by various European media, continued: “Haaland is the first option and De Bruyne is a key part and the one who accompanies him. It may seem strange that a world champion does not play much, but you have to look at it this way: Foden, a City youth player and an excellent player, does not make the team either. It’s about what the team needs, not the player’s reputation.”
The truth is that Álvarez accumulated 29 appearances since he arrived in Manchester and added 9 goals among all the competitions. Not insignificant numbers if one takes into account that it was 12-time starter. Álvarez, who scored 4 goals in 5 starts during the World Cup, will seek to continue hammering his place at City with performances: next Saturday he will visit Bournemouth for the Premier League and three days later he will face Bristol City for the FA Cup.
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