Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hailed Southampton as “one of the best teams in the Premier League”.
As quoted by the Manchester Evening News, the Spaniard reflected on his side’s win over Saints on Wednesday evening and opened up about the recent controversy surrounding his conversation with Nathan Redmond.
Guardiola was seen aggressively speaking to Redmond but it has since emerged that the City boss was complimenting him, demanding that he believes in himself and plays more offensively in the future.
However, the ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss revealed that he didn’t just speak to Redmond, but to Oriol Romeu and Mario Lemina as well. The report from the MEN also states that Guardiola claims he spoke to Virgil van Dijk, too.
My emotion was there because of how I celebrated, scored the goal after 96 minutes. I said the same to Romeu and Lemina and Redmond.
Guardiola was full of praise for Saints in his press conference but was evidently confused by Mauricio Pellegrino’s approach.
They have amazing players. Van Dijk, Hoedt, Soares, Redmond, Bertrand, Long, Boufal – they all have quality. I said to the (Manchester City) players “be careful, they are really good”. Even now I think the same.
They have one of the best teams in the Premier League. But if they decide to play like this I am not the right guy to say if this is right or not.
Southampton set up with a 5-4-1 formation against City and rested several key attacking players. Their game plan almost came off, but they were left heartbroken as Raheem Sterling converted a 96th minute winner.
Never in my career, on or off the pitch, was I disrespectful about what they believe they have to do to beat me. It’s the same as I do to beat them. I saw many Southampton games: he can play the way he played but he can play completely different.
They are the team who have created one of the most chances until now. His team can do both things and I expect that they attack.