Man City boss Pep Guardiola provides Kalvin Phillips verdict as Ilkay Gundogan warning sent

Kalvin Phillips verdict

Pep Guardiola defended Kalvin Phillips after the Manchester City midfielder was singled out for criticism in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton.

Phillips made his first competitive start for the Blues six months after joining from Leeds, but endured a night to forget as struggled in midfield and was one of those culpable for both goals conceded. The England international was picked apart by pundits for his poor performance, but Guardiola said that everyone was responsible for the defeat rather than one individual.

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“He needs time, a lot of time injured,” said Guardiola. “It&aposs not about Kalvin or this player or the other one, when you have nights like today it&aposs the responsibility for everyone. First the manager of course, but everyone.”

The manager had said after the 4-0 win over Chelsea at the weekend that his players needed to show the same hunger going forwards, only to make seven changes and watch an insipid performance that saw City register no shots on target in a match for the first time since 2018. Despite being clear that Southampton were the better team, Guardiola refuted the suggestion that this was down to his team lacking hunger or fight, and instead said it was that the team were not ready for something new.

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Ilkay Gundogan warning

Ilkay Gundogan admitted Wednesday&aposs Carabao Cup defeat at Southampton was &aposnot easy to take&apos and has warned his teammates that they must up their game markedly if City are to have any chance of winning the Manchester derby.

City were eliminated from the cup on a hugely disappointing night at St. Mary&aposs, with two goals inside five first-half minutes ultimately sealing a 2-0 win for the home side.

There were four changes from the City side that beat Chelsea 4-0 over the weekend, but with his side needing a swift reply, Guardiola made three changes off the bench at half-time. Despite the introduction of Kevin De Bruyne and, later, Erling Haaland, City failed to register a single shot on target for the first time since 2018 and eventually exited the competition with little more than a fizzle.

“Were disappointed with the result but also the performance,” Gundogan told Sky Sports after the final whistle. “It was definitely not what we wanted. We had a good chance today to secure another semi-final in the Carabao Cup but unfortunately with that performance we had no chance. Credit to Southampton, they did well but it was not at all good enough from us.

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