Man City boss Pep Guardiola heaps praise on Neil Critchley's Blackpool after pre-season friendly encounter

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Neil Critchley's Blackpool side after last night's pre-season friendly.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 9:00 am

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The Seasiders were beaten 4-1 by the reigning Premier League champions in a behind-closed-doors encounter at City's Academy Stadium.

Pool competed well though, recovering from a nightmare start when they conceded after just three minutes to level through Luke Garbutt's first-half penalty.

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Having gone in level at the break, City stepped up their game in the second-half and coasted to a comfortably victory, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez impressing in particular.

Guardiola felt his side were made to work hard for the win and was impressed with Blackpool's stubbornness.

"It was so demanding," Guardiola told Manchester City's official website.

"I was really impressed with Blackpool - they have a young side with quality.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola

“They lost two or three balls in the build-up in the first minutes but continued to do it. They did really well.

"We played against a good side – they did very well in many things, especially in the build-up. We had to do things to regain the ball as quick as possible.

“One more day (to the new season), no injuries and one more game. The players are coming back, but we need time.”

The Seasiders stuck to their principles and continued to play out from the back despite Man City' s fierce closing down.

Critchley conceded it's an approach that carries its risk, as evidenced early on when the men in tangerine were forced into a number of mistakes.

Youngster Sam Edozie scored City's first goal of the night, before a Mahrez strike and a Gundogan double added gloss to the scoreline.

Guardiola was pleased with elements of his side's play as City prepare for Saturday's Community Shield encounter against FA Cup winners Leicester City.

"You never know before the game when you are going to score a goal – at the beginning or late. The important thing is to create the chances," Guardiola added.

"I'm very pleased for the young players and the more experienced players for what they have done. I have no complaints.

“We saw many good things and the other ones, it’s just a question of time to get what we want.”

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