Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been accused of ‘overthinking’ his tactics following the club’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg defeat to Manchester United.
The holders progressed to a third successive League Cup final courtesy of a 3-2 aggregate success against their Manchester rivals, though Guardiola’s side were given a scare as Nemanja Matic’s goal secured United a 1-0 victory in the second leg at the Etihad.
Guardiola chose to play with just one recognised central defender in Nicolas Otamendi for the contest in a bid to seemingly flood the midfield areas, and former Man City defender Micah Richards has accused the Spaniard of overthinking his tactics.
“For me, [City] had a good 15 minutes and then United worked them out,” Richards said in his role as a pundit for Sky Sports.
“I saw Raheem [Sterling] receiving the ball in his own half. I saw Bernardo [Silva] doing the same on the opposite side. I’m thinking – why not play 4-3-3? It felt like a training game for City at times.
“The game is still 1-0, you’ve got to make changes early. I’m no manager, and I don’t want to go on about Pep’s tactics and style of play, but you’ve got Kyle Walker, who’s arguably one of the best right-backs in the league, playing as a centre half.
“You’ve got [Joao] Cancelo playing left-back. You’ve got Rodri dropping into centre-back and you’ve got this box in midfield where they’re all doing similar jobs.
“You’ve got Eric Garcia and John Stones on the bench – what does that do for their confidence?
“We’ve seen it time after time; when Pep gets it right, it’s incredible because he and Klopp are the best managers in the world. But tonight I felt he was overthinking little things he didn’t need to do.”