Champions League: Unwanted records scripted by Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola saw his side face defeat in the UEFA Champions League final against Chelsea in Porto. The Blues overcame Premier League champions City 1-0 to claim their second Champions League honor and a first since 2012-13. Notably, Guardiola was criticized for his team selection as he also scripted several unwanted records. We decode the same.
Guardiola has now lost more matches against Chelsea in all competitions than against any other club (eight). This was his seventh loss against Chelsea while managing City. Notably, Guardiola has lost his last three in a row against Chelsea. The only other teams that Guardiola has lost three in a row against in his managerial career are Real Madrid (2012-14) and Liverpool (2018).
Guardiola has lost his first cup final as City manager. Prior to this, he had won four League Cups and one FA Cup. He also lifted two FA Community Shields. This is only his second major cup final defeat of his managerial career. He had lost the Copa del Rey with Barcelona in 2010-11 against Real Madrid.
This was the third Champions League final for Guardiola in his managerial career. He had won both his previous finale games in the competitions with Barcelona. On both occasions, his side overcame Manchester United (2008-09 and 2010-11). This was Guardiola's maiden Champions League final defeat. Notably, all of his opponents in the UCL final have been English teams (United and Chelsea).
The UCL final saw City produce just one shot on target which came in the eighth minute. Prior to this, Guardiola's side lost 1-2 against Chelsea in the Premier League. In that game, City had four shots on target. In the FA Cup semi-final loss, his side had three shots on target. Chelsea edged past City in this aspect across the three matches (9-8).
Talking to BT Sport, Guardiola defended his team selection and said it was his decision to have quality players on the pitch. "I decided the decision, to have quality players. Gundogan played many years in this position," he said. "To have speed, to find the small players, the quality, the brilliant players, inside, in the middle, and between the lines. This was the decision."
This was Guardiola's 16th major cup final as a manager. He now has a 14-2 win-loss record. Prior to this defeat, he had won 11 cup finals in succession.