Pep Guardiola slammed for ‘stealing the Champions League from Man City fans’

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been accused of "stealing" the Champions League from the club's fans due to his team selection, believes Lothar Matthaus.

Guardiola's team selection for Saturday's showpiece final against Chelsea raised eyebrows after he left out both Rodri and Fernandinho.

Instead, he opted to play Ilkay Gundogan in the middle of midfield alongside Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden, with Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and false-nine Kevin de Bruyne up top.

City's lack of defensive midfielder saw the newly-crowned Premier League champions unable to get a foothold of the game, with a clear lack of connection between the defence and midfield.

Kai Havertz's goal was the only one of the game as Chelsea celebrated their second Champions League win, with Guardiola and City unable to capture European glory once again.

And Matthaus believes Guardiola's team selection is to blame, and that he shouldn't have gone so attacking with his line-up.

Writing in his column for Sky Germany, he explained that he believed Guardiola was solely to blame for the defeat.

Matthaus wrote: "With his line-up he stole the Champions League from the club and the fans and he has to rightly listen to the harsh criticism from all sides.

"I am sure that there will be internal discussions about whether to part with him. The players will doubt him since that final.

"He had to try something again, present an imaginary ingenuity at the worst possible moment and totally deserved to lose.

"How can you play without a defensive midfielder in the most important game in club history, who was on the pitch in almost every game of the season, who ensures the balance, who gives everyone involved the necessary security?

"Why did he leave Rodri and/or Fernandinho out, start six attacking players and also play without a centre-forward?"

Guardiola is set to meet City chiefs after a two-week break to discuss plans for the summer transfer window.

The Premier League champions are expected to go after Harry Kane, with a new left-back also on the agenda ahead of next season.

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