'This is my best quality' - Kevin De Bruyne substitution explained by Pep Guardiola after Man City boss left 'emotionally destroyed' by Bayern victory
- Man City emerged 3-0 winners over Bayern
- Guardiola explained De Bruyne's early substitution
- Claimed to have aged 10 years in 90 minutes
WHAT HAPPENED? Goals from Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland ensured Manchester City sailed smoothly past Bayern Munich in the first leg of their quarter-final Champions League tie at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. However, with the score still 1-0, Kevin De Bruyne was replaced by Julian Alvarez in the 68th minute, which sent shivers around the stadium with fans fearing that the Belgian has injured his right knee. However, Guardiola dispelled those injury concerns after the match and explained his decision to take off the Belgian at such a crucial juncture.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "We needed extra energy and that is why I decided. I am here to take the decisions and I make them – this is my best quality,” he told reporters.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite sitting on a healthy 3-0 advantage ahead of the second leg, Guardiola insisted the tie is far from over and suggested that the match has taken a heavy emotional toll on him.
"It was not comfortable. Emotionally I’m destroyed. I have 10 more years today. It was such a demanding game," he added. "Now I have to relax, a day off for the guys, and prepare for Leicester. I know exactly what you have to do there [in the second leg against Bayern]. If you don’t perform really well they are able to score one, two, three. I know that. The players know that. It’s an incredible result, but we have to play our game with a huge, huge personality.
"We don’t need to tell them [his players] the warnings. Three years there and I know in Europe this team especially, you have to have a really good performance. To knock out these teams you have to have two good games, not just one."
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Guardiola will rally his troops next against Leicester City on Saturday in the Premier League before shifting his attention to the second leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League next Wednesday.