Fernandinho: Man City boss Pep Guardiola had no doubts over Brazilian’s defensive ability

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he never doubted that Fernandinho will be comfortable playing at a back four following the Brazilian display in the 3-0 win in Shakhtar Donetsk.
Accidents to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have abandoned just 1 fit centre-back to City in Nicolas Otamendi.
However, midfielder Fernandinho appeared natural there in Ukraine and was coaching as a guardian this year.
“That is why he’s so important for us,” explained Guardiola.
“We do not have many options. I think he’s the only one I’ve [in centre-back]. Other players can perform in that place but Fernandinho is smart a clever player – an amazing guy.
“He did well the first game he played with [this year ]. Obviously he has a great deal of expertise and personality, and that which he says that the folks today accompany him from the locker room so that it’s crucial.”
“I didn’t have doubts he could [look so comfortable from the back four].”
This was a night for the defence of City as part of a authoritative screen in the Champions League Group C opener.
City scored in the first half – with Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez both – until the win was secured by Gabriel Jesus after the rest with his attack that was fourth in 2 matches against Shakhtar.
Having played with Shakhtar in the group phase of all of the three Champions League contests, City now have a list of four wins and just a defeat.
2 interceptions, two strong headers won along with a passing precision of 90% made for a quietly efficient nighttime for Fernandinho.
“Pep understands about our team and staff and when he desires [us], every player should be ready,” he advised BT Sport. “Today was my time and chance and I hope I will get better and enhance a little bit more.”
“It was a quiet night [for its defence]. I think the team made a very good game starting with the men.
“In the rear it was somewhat easier for us. But for sure we played today as a team and we all deserved the result – we were much better and we created lots of opportunities and surrendered few opportunities to them.”
Guardiola was pleased with the screen and an outcome that puts them up and has been the best riposte to their shock 3-2 Premier League reduction at Norwich to push for qualification to the previous 16.
“We saw the results yesterday and today, we understand how hard that the Champions League is. We defended really well and we created chances,” said the Spaniard.
“To start with three points away is indeed important, it is in our hands to reach the final 16.
“When you win the manager makes the proper decisions, when you get rid of the incorrect decisions. We lost one match in eight months and we’re not going to doubt who these players are. It’s a pleasure to be their manager.”
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