Man City: Expert issues Guardiola claim after latest on Walker fitness 'risk'

By Danny Mills

7th May, 2022 | 11:40am

Danny Mills issues Kyle Walker injury claim after Man City latest

Danny Mills has insisted Man City boss Pep Guardiola was right to risk possible injury to Kyle Walker and got his game plan spot on during the shock defeat against Real Madrid on Wednesday (4 May).

The former City defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 51-year-old “cannot be faulted” despite his self-deprecating comments in the media.

Walker, who was playing through an ankle injury, turned in a stellar performance for 72 minutes before limping off to be replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Man City took the lead on the night soon after the defender’s withdrawal but promptly collapsed to a 6-5 aggregate loss as Real Madrid set up a Paris final date with Liverpool.

As quoted by the Manchester Evening News pre-match, when asked about Walker’s fitness, Guardiola said: “I’m not a guy that likes to risk but there are moments of the season where you have to risk.”

Mills defended the Spaniard’s decision to start the England international.

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“Pep had to take that risk with Walker to try and get City into the final,” he told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.

“And it worked out. They were goals up at that point and cruising. Zinchenko comes on and Real Madrid score two – whether that’s a coincidence, who knows.

“There was nothing wrong with the game plan whatsoever. When you’re two goals up with just injury time left to play – you can’t fault Guardiola and the way Man City played.

“The penalty took all the wind out of the sails in extra time – and that’s when it comes down to fighting spirit and hunger, and Real Madrid just had their tails up and they were able to run down the clock.”

As quoted by Sky Sports on Saturday (7 May), Guardiola suggested he may not be “good enough” to deliver the Champions League to Man City for the first-ever time.

The Citizens face Newcastle tomorrow (8 May).

In other news, expert fumes at Man City as Tottenham blocked from signing rising stars.