Pep Guardiola has defended Claudio Bravo after their 2-1 Derby win over cross town rivals Manchester United, praising his personality.
Bravo was making his debut appearance for Manchester City after signing for the Citizens from Barcelona this summer, in a deal worth £15.4 million on a four-year basis. His arrival led to the departure of long term servant Joe Hart, who joined Serie A Club Torino on a one-year loan.
However, the Chilean had a debut to forget. City were 2-0 up and cruising, but a lack of communication with his defence right at the end of the first half led to him putting the ball straight into to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s feet, who scored to put United right back into the game.
A few minutes later, another mix-up with the defense left Ibrahimovic with the goal at his mercy, but the Swedish striker rushed his shot and the ball was easily cleared, sparing Bravo’s blushes.
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 10, 2016
In the second half, Bravo attempted to dribble past an on-rushing Marcus Rashford, but took a horribly heavy touch which Wayne Rooney pounced on, and might have put away had the keeper not rushed out to tackle the striker.
Sky Sports pundits Thierry Henry and Graeme Souness believe the tackle from Bravo was worthy of a penalty and a red card, as it was a studs up challenge that might have led to Rooney breaking his leg had it been slightly mistimed.
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However, City manager Pep Guardiola defended Bravo, claiming that the team played well in the first half because of the goalkeeper.
“We played good in the first half because of Claudio,” said Guardiola, whose side held on to win 2-1.
“I like the keepers to attack the ball and after what happened with the goal, the second half he continued to play and that’s a good thing about his personality.”