Guardiola reveals he found Chelsea fan chants about Kalvin Phillips' weight 'funny' but insists Man City midfielder is now back to his best

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola saw the funny side in Chelsea fans' chants aimed at Kalvin Phillips' weight, who he feels is back to full fitness.

WHAT HAPPENED? Guardiola had originally criticised Phillips publically for returning back from England camp overweight, before later praising him for trimming down in recent weeks. The midfielder's introduction in Thursday night's Premier League matchup prompted Chelsea fans to chant "you fat b*stard", something which the City manager admitted he saw the humour in, but he reiterated that Phillips is back fully firing.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I had the feeling last week that he’s back. I had a good feeling," Guardiola told reporters after the match. "It will be a good lesson for him for the future. I had the feeling that a footballer for 12 months has to be perfect - even in holidays, you have to be perfect. You can enjoy it but you have to be ready because this level is so demanding. To play every three days you have to be fit.

He added: "[Phillips] has a big sense of humour, it was funny from the Chelsea fans."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Phillips was introduced on 86 minutes but it was another set of substitutes that made the difference at Stamford Bridge. Youngster Rico Lewis was praised by Guardiola after his half-time appearance shored up the defence and gave City more control in midfield, while the double change of Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez combined to score the decisive goal in a 1-0 win. As a result, Guardiola's men moved within five points of Arsenal at the top of the table.


Kalvin Phillips Manchester City 2022-23

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2022-23

John Stones Kalvin Phillips Manchester City 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR CITY? The two Premier League sides meet again on Sunday in the FA Cup third round, where squad rotation may allow Phillips the chance to start his first competitive match for City since signing in the summer.