Pep Guardiola takes positives from Man City display despite Carabao Cup exit

The City boss was impressed by the performance of 20-year-old midfielder Oscar Bobb.

Damian Spellman
Thursday 28 September 2023 09:00 BST
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was able to take positives from the Carabao Cup third round defeat at Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was able to take positives from the Carabao Cup third round defeat at Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Pep Guardiola was counting the positives despite seeing Manchester City dumped out of the Carabao Cup at Newcastle.

Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park ended City’s interest at the third-round stage, although boss Guardiola scoffed at the suggestion afterwards that a quadruple to go with last season’s treble was ever on the cards.

Nevertheless the Spaniard, who made eight changes for the trip to Tyneside, was focusing on the future and the prospect of more silverware despite the disappointment of defeat.

Guardiola said: “We have incredibly positive things for many, many players for their good play.

“The competitions we won plus the European Super Cup, we have three more competitions to play in. For the rest of the teams, good luck for the Carabao Cup.”

Only Manuel Akanji, Josko Gvardiol and Julian Alvarez of those who started Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Nottingham Forest did so again against the Magpies as Guardiola used the depth of his impressive squad.

That meant places in the XI for England duo Kalvin Phillips and Jack Grealish, as well as Mateo Kovacic, and there was a first senior start for 20-year-old midfielder Oscar Bobb and another first-team appearance for teenager Rico Lewis.

Oscar was more than brilliant in all parts, offence and defence

Pep Guardiola on Oscar Bobb

Asked about Bobb’s contribution, Guardiola said: “Oscar was more than brilliant in all parts, offence and defence.

“He’s played as a number 10, as a striker, as a winger. We know in the pockets in the middle he moves really well. His intensity is good, he works without the ball.”

City dominated the first half without creating clear-cut chances other than an attempt from Alvarez which was blocked by keeper Nick Pope, and ultimately they were made to pay by Alexander Isak, whose 53rd-minute strike as the home side rallied after the break proved decisive.

Guardiola said: “We were brilliant first half. I think Newcastle couldn’t accept [our first-half dominance], they increased the rhythm and aggression and kicking and they were there, more aggressive.

“We struggled a little, but that’s normal. I said at half-time the second half will not be like the first. I don’t know how many fouls they did and how many we did, but we had double yellow cards. It is what it is.

“I said to be there in the bad moments and we were there. At the end, we could not win. Congratulations to Newcastle.”

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