Fernandinho: Man City boss Pep Guardiola had no doubts over Brazilian’s defensive ability

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that he never doubted after the Brazilian screen in the 3-0 triumph at Shakhtar Donetsk that Fernandinho will be comfortable playing at a back four.
Injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have abandoned City with just one match centre-back at Nicolas Otamendi.
But midfielder Fernandinho was training as a defender this season and seemed natural that there in Ukraine.
“That’s why he’s so important for us,” explained Guardiola.
“We do not have many options. I think he’s the only one I’ve [in ]. Players may perform in that position but Fernandinho is a player and so intelligent – an extraordinary guy.
“He did well the first match he played [this year ]. Obviously he has a great deal of knowledge and personality, and what he says that the people today follow him in the locker room so that it’s vital.”
“I did not have doubts he would [seem so comfy in the rear four].”
It was a night for City’s defence as a portion of a screen from the Champions League Group C opener.
City scored in the first half with Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez both on goal – before Gabriel Jesus sealed the win after the rest with his fourth attack.
Having played Shakhtar at the group stage of all of the past three Champions League competitions, City now have a record of four wins and just a defeat.
2 interceptions, a passing accuracy of 90% made for a quietly effective night for Fernandinho and two strong headers.
“Pep understands everything about our team and team and if he wants [us], each player ought to be prepared,” he advised BT Sport. “Now was my period and chance and I hope I can get better and enhance just a tiny bit longer.”
“It was a silent night [for its defence]. I believe a good game was made by the team starting with the guys.
“In the back it was a bit simpler for us. However, for sure we played now as a group and we all deserved the outcome – we had been much better and we made lots of opportunities and surrendered few opportunities to them.”
Guardiola was delighted with the display and an outcome that puts them up and was the best riposte to their shock 3-2 Premier League loss at Norwich to push for qualification to the last 16.
“We watched the results yesterday and today, we understand how difficult the Champions League is. We defended really well and we made chances,” said the Spaniard.
“To start with three things away is indeed important, it is in our hands to reach the final 16.
“When you win the manager makes the proper choices, when you lose the erroneous decisions. We dropped one match in eight weeks and we’re not going to doubt that these players are. It is a pleasure to be their supervisor.”
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