Dietmar Hamann, a former Manchester City player, believes Pep Guardiola is to blame for the club’s Champions League final loss to Chelsea.
Man City, who have spent massively in their pursuit of an elusive European title, came within a whisker of winning it in 2020-21, only to lose 1-0 to regional rivals Porto.
Although Kai Havertz scored the game’s sole goal, Hamann believes it was “madness” for City to line up without a professional holding midfielder.
“Thomas Tuchel benefited from Pep Guardiola’s madness in the final without playing a defensive midfielder,” Hamann told Goal and SPOX. “But in the league, they were 25 points behind City last season.”At Etihad Stadium, Guardiola has at least two defensive midfielders on his books, but Fernandinho and Rodri were both benched against Chelsea.
With Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva at his side, Ilkay Gundogan was tasked with keeping order in the middle of the park.
Although that tactical strategy did not work out, Guardiola has not made many mistakes in his coaching career.
On September 25, he got his revenge at Stamford Bridge, when a Gabriel Jesus goal was enough to earn City three Premier League points in west London. While Guardiola’s team did not win the Champions League last season, they did win the Premier League. They are among the favourites to defend their title in 2021-22, but Liverpool figure to be back in contention after an injury-plagued season the previous season.
Prior to the international break, City and the Reds fought out an exciting 2-2 draw at Anfield, and Hamann expects one of his old clubs to win come May. “You saw at 2-2 in the last match that Liverpool and Man City are the finest teams in England,” the ex-Germany international added. As a result, I’d be astonished if one of the two teams doesn’t win. My heart beats for Liverpool, where I’ve spent the most time and had the most success in England.”