– Pep Guardiola reveals he started Kelechi Iheanacho to show he wanted to win the game
– Iheanacho replaced the suspended Sergio Aguero in attack for Manchester City
– The Nigeria international started, assisted and scored for Manchester City in the derby
– Guardiola delighted with the way his side handled the counter-attacking threats of United
Pep Guardiola says he decided to start 19 year old Nigerian youngster Kelechi Iheanacho in Saturday’s Manchester derby to show his players that he wanted to win the game.
The Nigeria international started, assisted and scored for Manchester City as the Citizens defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford to secure a 2 – 1 win.
Iheanacho might not have started had star striker Sergio Aguero now been suspended by FA.
The Catalan coach says he could have picked someone else to lead the attack, but the 19-year-old’s presence sent a message to the rest of his team.
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“He was the only striker we had in that moment,” he told Manchester Evening News.
“I thought about many other options – but I thought in the beginning to show to my players that I came to win the game.”
Guardiola was satisfied with his side’s display against Jose Mourinho’s United.
“I’ve conceded many goals against Mourinho’s teams on the counter-attack because his teams are really good in that part of the game,” he said.
“But in the first half we controlled it, we conceded maybe one or two counter-attacks, no more.
“It’s really good. We defended the set-pieces well because they are stronger and taller than us and we defended really good.”
The win takes City to top of the Premier League table after making it four wins from four games in the Premier League this season.