Pep Guardiola takes pop at Gary Neville after Manchester City substitute debate


Man City beat Leicester 5-1 and coupled with a shock defeat at Newcastle for Manchester United, Pep Guardiola's side look more certain to win the title than ever.

"But I think we are very close to achieving important things".

Pep Guardiola has the side playing some slick football but is still looking for players, who can make them even harder to beat.

But also took a fresh dig at Neville by making a disparaging reference to his disastrous four-month spell as manager of Valencia in 2016.

Guardiola outlined that David Silva's absence due to the premature birth of his son and injuries to Fabian Delph and Ben Foden restricted his chances to leave De Bruyne out.

Guardiola called for more protection after Kevin De Bruyne was the victim of a risky challenge from Crystal Palace's Jason Puncheon during a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on New Year's Eve.

"We played two-and-a-half days ago".

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"All of the players were injured, believe me", Guardiola continued.

"It was just one or two hours later and it would not have been correct to go the manager who is preparing for the game and say "I need one or two players to go on the bench" when they are going to play". I told him he was right.

"This guy, the pundit, he has to know my job is serious, it's not a joke, never is it a joke".

'It's whether Chelsea can get their ship in order I suppose as we know Tottenham have got quality, they're a settled team, they've got a good system, a great manager. "Forget the fact they've spent however much money, six players on the bench... to me, it's like a protest".

Despite this astonishing feat, the Striker was quick to deflect the considerable praise on to his fellow teammates, with De Bruyne singled out as a massive influence, after he took his assists tally this season to 14, simultaneously taking him beyond Lionel Messi as the player with the most assists in Europe since 2012.

Guardiola had earlier stressed that he would name a full squad of 18 for Saturday's game against Leicester City, and that "Gary Neville can be happy".

"It was the first time in my life and an exception", he said, reports the Manchester Evening News.