Pep Guardiola denies Man City left grass long to halt Liverpool

‘I never did - if they want to play quick, we want to play quicker’

Manchester City’s John Stones clears the ball off the line away from Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the Premier League game at the Etihad stadium. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Manchester City’s John Stones clears the ball off the line away from Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the Premier League game at the Etihad stadium. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

 

Pep Guardiola has denied a claim that the grass on the Etihad Stadium pitch was left long to slow down Liverpool during Manchester City’s 2-1 win last Thursday.

Guardiola said about the assertion on the Anfield Wrap podcast: “I’m not the greenkeeper. I never did – if they want to play quick, we want to play quicker; always we try to put water [on] but it’s not necessary here because of the weather.

“We want to cut the field all the 10 years [of his career]. It’s better conditions for both teams – when this happens, you do the best for opponents. We have to respect them with the rules. I never speak with the groundsman. I trust the groundsman, I never made a phone call to say do this to damage our opponents.”

Guardiola hopes to have Benjamin Mendy back soon following a knee injury that has ruled out the defender since early November.

“He’s much better, maybe two or three weeks and he’ll be with us,” said Guardiola, who has the rest of his squad available for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Burton at the Etihad. – Guardian

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