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Pep Guardiola defends Manchester City tactics in Tottenham defeat

14 April 2019

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he's deliberately kept Leroy Sane out of his team in recent games.

They don't have a great deal to play for today, surely already with 39 points (that's 11 more than Cardiff in 18th) but will be motivated by the chance to mess up another team's title hopes.

If Palace manage to achieve an upset victory yet again, they would have completed a double over City for the first time since the 1972-73 season.

'We don't care about who can win the title, we'll go there and try to win the game, ' Hazard told the BBC (via Metro).

"I know how hard the Champions League is away against Tottenham and we made a good performance".

Guardiola's upbeat attitude, despite a first defeat in 15 games, suggests a longer-term plan to keep his squad as fresh as possible for a gruelling run-in. Unfortunately we could not score a goal, but we have a second leg at home.

'It is hard because at the moment City and Liverpool are better than Chelsea but we are Chelsea and the last 10 years we won a lot of trophies. Unsurprisingly, Crystal Palace has struggled against the Big Six sides this season, with the exception a 3-2 Manchester City.

City may not have an easy time breaking down this side.

That game kicks-off just minutes after the final whistle at Selhurst Park, making it all the more vital that City land a psychological blow by going back to the top of the table against Palace.

But speaking before the game, Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has made it clear that the Blues are only focusing on the game and now what happens with the title challenge.

"We have been incredible for the past 20 months", Guardiola said.

Bernardo Silva and Oleksander Zinchenko both missed the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with minor injuries but both are in contention to face Palace.

Pep Guardiola defends Manchester City tactics in Tottenham defeat