Pep Guardiola teams are heavily dependent on their goalkeeper to initiate play. Unfortunately for Manchester City, Claudio Bravo’s error opened the floodgates for Barcelona.
City were making a fight of it against La Liga giants Barcelona, heading into the break 1-0 down. However, in the second half, in an attempt to start play from the back, Bravo handed the ball straight to Luis Suarez. To make amends, he made a save outside of the box and was sent off for a deliberate hand ball.
Man City were reduced to ten men and Guardiola was routed 4-0 by his former team. After the game, the Catalan manager refused to blame Bravo and insisted that he would not change his tactics because of this result.
“I’m sorry but until the last day of my career as a coach I will try to play from our goalkeeper,” said the Catalan manager, according to the Guardian.
“There are moments you have to kick the ball out and against Everton on Sunday we played four or five times the long ball. But he tried to play it and sometimes this happens.
“There will be no change [of goalkeeper]. It stays the same. Football is a game of mistakes. He knows what he did. He has a lot of experience and he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the last 10 years. I don’t have doubts about him. He’s disappointed but he will learn from that.”
Guardiola had ousted one of Manchester City’s favorite sons from the starting XI because of his preference for a ball playing goalkeeper. English keeper Joe Hart fell down the pecking order and was sent out on loan to Serie A side Torino, with the manager bringing in his former player from Barcelona Claudio Bravo.
Hart has since excelled for Torino and the English national team, making some eye-catching saves. Bravo has been dependable at the back for the most part, but has shown a tendency to make errors in high profile games.
The Chilean handed Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic two chances to score in the Manchester derby, and his actions in Wednesday’s game condemned City to a humbling defeat.