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‘Sometimes money, sometimes Covid’ – Guardiola counters Tuchel and Van Dijk


Pep Guardiola has responded to claims by title rivals that Manchester City have been lucky with its COVID-19 case numbers.

In recent days, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk have all commented on the relative “luck” of the defending Premier League champions.

When those thoughts were presented to Guardiola during Friday’s press conference ahead of the Chelsea clash, the Catalan coach said: “We have injuries, we have COVID.

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“Maybe we don’t say which one, how many. [Some of] The players wanted to be respected, so the club decided not to do that.

“We had a lot of people playing with COVID. Lots of people, backstage staff, with COVID. And in the biggest season, we’ve had a lot of very serious injuries to our players.

“So what can I say? Did they believe we were lucky? Okay, we got lucky!

“What can I say? Pandemic is everywhere in the world, everywhere. We are in contact, every day, every minute. We are not an exception.

“If they believe that’s why [City have pulled clear in the title race], then can. Probably.

“Sometimes it’s the money we have, sometimes it’s COVID. So I don’t know, maybe. ”

Guardiola on Premier League postponement rules

Man City is in fluctuating form when winning the last 11 matches in the Premier League to rise to the top of the table. In fact, Guardiola’s army is currently leading Chelsea by 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has been rocked by the COVID-19 crisis, with criticism massed for the lack of clarity around how many absences must be postponed.

Guardiola is no clearer than anyone else about the rules, but he is not up to the task of asking games not to be called: “We have 13 players in the starting XI for the last game, in the FA Cup. .

“The last game we had 11 at Aston Villa, 11 players.

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“This decision is for the Premier League, not for us. As for the other clubs, I don’t know the situation.

“We try to play. Do we have 11 or 12 players? Enough, let’s play. We have Cole Palmer, we have [James] McAtee. We try to play.

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“We never asked [for the games to be postponed]. I don’t know what its worth – if it’s just COVID, or trauma.

“But injuries happen all the time, so I don’t know the standards or the rules of the Premier League, when it’s called off the pitch. In many cases we only had 12 players and we played. “

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Guardiola himself missed the FA Cup third-round win over Swindon last weekend when he tested positive for the virus.

Revealing how many training sessions he has attended since then, he is in a good mood: “One. That’s good news for the players! We will play great tomorrow, you will see.

“The plan was done. We contacted Zoom. We have known each other for six years. With just one eye contact, we knew exactly what to do.

“So there’s no problem. Of course, the players behaved well on Sunday. I’m back as manager, but if I’m not here, I’m not playing, so in the end it doesn’t matter.”

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