Pep Guardiola insisted ‘fights happen’ after being caught on camera lambasting Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez after the victory against RB Leipzig.
Manchester City launched their latest Champions League challenge with a remarkable 6-3 victory over 10-man Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium.
Five different City players got on the scoresheet for last season’s runners-up, who also benefited from an own goal in a thrilling end-to-end encounter to open Group A.
Christopher Nkunku scored a brilliant hat-trick in a losing cause for the visitors, who had former City left-back Angelino sent off in the second half.
Nathan Ake opened the scoring for City with Nordi Mukiele turning into his own net and Mahrez adding a penalty in the first half.
Grealish marked his first Champions League appearance with City’s first goal of the second half before Joao Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus also netted.
However, the attacking display could not save two of City’s match winners from getting a right earful on the touchline.
Speaking after the game, Grealish admitted his manager simply wanted more from his team as they seek to improve on their crushing defeat in the final to Chelsea last season.
“That was just defensive work,” he told BT Sport. “I won’t go too much into it because he might want the same tactics for the weekend.
“That’s what the manager is like, he’s always wanting more defensively and offensively. He’s someone I’m going to listen to after everything he’s done in the game. He’s obviously just handing out useful information.”
“We spoke in half-time about the way we have to do it and they didn’t do it,” Guardiola explained about the arguments to BT Sport. “Fights happen.
“They are so good, they make four players in the build up to attract you behind the holding midfielders where there aren’t a lot of players, where the ball goes outside and they are so fast when they attack in behind.
“It’s not easy to control it but when you regain that ball there are many players in front of the ball and in the transition to make one or two passes in behind you have a chance to attack.”