Barcelona - Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was defiant
he will not change his ways despite a harrowing night for goalkeeper Claudio
Bravo on his return to Barcelona as a Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired a 4-0
Barca win on Wednesday.
Bravo was sent-off with City trailing just 1-0 for saving
Luis Suarez's effort when outside his area after gifting the ball to the
Uruguayan striker, putting Guardiola's decision to jettison England number one
Joe Hart under more scrutiny.
"Until the last day I am a coach I will try to play
from the goalkeeper," said Guardiola.
"Of course you cannot play all the time, but it was a
mistake and it sometimes happens."
Bravo enjoyed two almost faultless years at Barca before
joining City in August, but has endured a shaky start under Guardiola's firm
instructions to build City's attack from the back.
"He (Bravo) has a lot of experience, he is one of the
best goalkeepers in the world for the last 10 years, but he will learn and is
the first one in the dressing room to apologise."
Bravo's gaffe was just one of many City defensive howlers on
the night as Messi took advantage of Fernandinho's slip to give Barca an early
Messi curled home a second before Ilkay Gundogan's misplaced
pass played in Suarez, who squared for Messi to complete his hat-trick.
Also read: Guardiola heads home seeking break from away day blues
The scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for
City had substitute goalkeeper Willy Caballero not saved a penalty from Neymar
before the Brazilian made amends with a brilliant fourth.
"It is always difficult to play in Barcelona with 11
players and with 10 the game was over," added Guardiola.
"We created enough chances, we arrive at the byline
many times, but with their strikers when they arrive they punish you."
Guardiola won his first 10 games in charge, but City have
now failed to win any of their last four matches and the Catalan lamented the
series of error-strewn performances affecting his side.
A 3-3 draw at Celtic was followed by a 2-0 defeat at
Tottenham Hotspur before City missed two penalties in a 1-1 draw with Everton
"Starting in Glasgow, own goals in White Hart Lane
(against Tottenham), missing penalties, we give a lot for the opponents,"
Guardiola, who won 14 trophies in four years in charge of
Barca, has now lost on both occasions he has returned to the Camp Nou after
losing 3-0 in 2015 when with Bayern Munich.
However, Guardiola's former teammate and Barca boss Luis
Enrique agreed Bravo's dismissal changed the game.
"The sending-off was decisive and conditioned the game
a lot," said Enrique.
"Teams that try to play from the back know those errors
can happen and you have to accept it. In the long-run it is more
Messi has now scored two hat-tricks in as many games in this
season's Champions League as the Argentine showed no signs of rust on his first
start for a month after a groin injury.
"We have seen the calm that Messi has to finish inside
the area as if he was in the school yard," added Enrique.
"If there is anything you can expect of Messi it is
that. It doesn't matter how many days he has been out or the games he has
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