Pep Guardiola reveals Man City star replaced as injury ‘precaution’ vs Chelsea
Manchester City progressed to the next round of the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez.
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The defender went down twice in the 2-0 victory, and was the only substitute Guardiola made after City took the lead in the early period of the second half. The centre-back is also expected to be named in Spain’s World Cup squad, but the City manager said he doesn’t believe the injury to be serious.
“He felt… I think it is ok but in the last minutes he had some discomfort and as a precaution we made a substitution with Nathan [Ake],” Guardiola told reporters after the game.
Meanwhile Kalvin Phillips played his first match in nearly two months after recovering from a shoulder injury. The midfielder is hoping to be named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday, and Guardiola said he has a big role to play at club level after the competition in Qatar.
“Kalvin made a good 40 minutes. It’s a long time he hasn’t played and he played with incredible personality,” opined the former Barcelona boss.
“He has to get some bits that are normal how to play, but in the second part of the season after the World Cup we will need him because Rodri cannot be all the time.”
Stefan Ortega Moreno was named man of the match by the club and Guardiola was also full of praise for the goalkeeper, who he described as ‘exceptional’.
“It’s not the first game, the game in Dortmund was exceptional,” he said. “The game against Sevila was exceptional. We saw him every day and I think the club made a great signing with him.
“He’s an exceptional goalkeeper in all departments, in the goal, with the feet, and in the end Chelsea didn’t score a goal because he saved it. It’s good for Eddy [Ederson] too. To maintain the levels is so important. Stefan is an exceptional keeper.”