‘Fever & knock’ - Pep Guardiola’s update on Erling Haaland and Joao Cancelo after Dortmund 0-0 Man City
Pep Guardiola has revealed he took Erling Haaland and Joao Cancelo off at half-time in Manchester City’s 0-0 draw against Borussia Dortmund due to the players suffering respectively from a ‘fever’ and a ‘knock’.
The goalless draw in Germany meant City secured first spot in Group G with a game to spare, while Dortmund guaranteed their place in the next round as well. With both sides evidently happy with a point apiece, it was far from an entertaining affair on Tuesday and neither team particularly exerted themselves in an effort to find a winner.
City’s attack weren’t firing on all cylinders against Dortmund, with Guardiola opting to replace two of his most reliable men at the break, in Haaland and Cancelo. However, speaking after the match, the City manager revealed this was a decision made due to both players suffering from problems rather than rotating his squad.
“Erling didn’t feel good, he had a little bit of a fever before the game,” Guardiola explained, when speaking to BT Sport. “Joao as well, has a knock in his foot. I saw him [look] tired, Joao as well. That’s why we changed it, and in that period we struggled a lot.”
Asked for his view on the game, Guardiola responded: “We played much better in the second half. In the first half we lost some balls and conceded some counter attacks from them because they are so fast.
“We suffered a bit because our game on Saturday was so demanding physically and the trip and everything and we are a little tired. We achieved what we wanted - top of the group once again, one more year we qualify and we are in the last-16.”
The result means City’s final group game next week - against Sevilla - is a dead rubber. The Spanish side will finish third no matter the score at the Etihad and will drop into the Europa League as a result.