Football

Guardiola unfazed by Man City’s first defeat of the season

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola showed no disappointment after a 2-1 Champions League defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk ended his team's unbeaten run in all competitions this season.

The result yesterday morning (Singapore time) also spoiled Guardiola's milestone 100th appearance as manager in Europe's premier club competition, but the Spaniard was still delighted with the performances of second-string players in his makeshift side.

"I'm so pleased for Tosin (Adarabioyo), Phil (Foden) and Brahim (Diaz), and how well they played," he told BT Sport.

"We came here to win. We couldn't, but we were trying until the end to do so. I'm happy for the performance."

City were already assured of finishing as Group F winners and with one eye on Monday's English Premier League Manchester Derby against United, Guardiola rested his entire first-choice back four.

The shuffle played into Shakhtar's hands as they launched waves of attacks on City's rearguard, who looked completely at sea and rode their luck before Bernard fired the home side ahead with a superb shot from 15 metres.

City's Ederson gifted Shakhtar a second as Ismaily took advantage to tighten the Ukrainian champions' grip on a knockout-stage berth before Sergio Aguero blasted a late penalty for the visitors.

"This is the most joyful press conference of my career," Shakhtar manager Paulo Fonseca, who fulfilled a vow by dressing up as fictional character Zorro, told amused reporters at the Metalist Stadium.

"I feel great joy. Not only Shakhtar's supporters but all Ukrainians have to be proud of our team." - REUTERS

Football