Pep has Calamity Bravo's back as City reach q-finals

Sergio Aguero drilling past Huddersfield goalkeeper Joel Coleman to score Manchester City's fourth goal in the 73rd minute, taking his season tally to 22 goals in all competitions. Left: City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo gesturing to Huddersfield fans af
Sergio Aguero drilling past Huddersfield goalkeeper Joel Coleman to score Manchester City's fourth goal in the 73rd minute, taking his season tally to 22 goals in all competitions. PHOTO: REUTERS
Sergio Aguero drilling past Huddersfield goalkeeper Joel Coleman to score Manchester City's fourth goal in the 73rd minute, taking his season tally to 22 goals in all competitions. Left: City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo gesturing to Huddersfield fans af
City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo gesturing to Huddersfield fans after City striker Kelechi Iheanacho nabs the fifth goal in the 90th minute to complete the 5-1 rout at the Etihad Stadium. City will face Boro in the FA Cup quarter-finals.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he has no concerns about his goalkeeper Claudio Bravo despite the club's supporters appearing to show their displeasure at the experienced Chilean international during a 5-1 FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town.

Bravo, who has been displaced by Willy Caballero as first choice at the Etihad, let an opening goal from Harry Bunn through his legs early in the fifth-round replay against the Championship side.

City supporters cheered sarcastically when Bravo made an unconvincing save in the first half and, again, later in the match when he caught a routine cross.

But Guardiola, who paid £15.4 million (S$26 million) for his services from Barcelona last summer, insisted the performance from Bravo was up to standard.

"You would have to ask the fans (about jeering). The performance from Claudio was amazing, to make the build-up, nobody else can do that," said the Spaniard.

  • 4

    Premier League clean sheets Claudio Bravo kept in 19 games.

    2

    EPL clean sheets Man City have kept in the three February games he was dropped from - at West Ham and Bournemouth.

"He reads when the men are free. He gave us the opportunity to play. What the fans express, I'm not here to judge them.

"I am not worried about him, he's strong enough. He's one of the best. I know I can count on him. I can count on his behaviour when he's playing and when he's not playing. He's always involved in the team. I just congratulate him on how he played at Huddersfield and how he played today."

Bravo's poor start was unimportant in the end as City coasted into the FA Cup quarter-finals where they will meet Middlesbrough.

Sergio Aguero scored twice, taking his season tally to 22 goals, and Leroy Sane, Pablo Zabaleta and Kelechi Iheanacho were also on the mark for a City team that scored five goals for a second consecutive game, after their thrilling 5-3 Champions League win over Monaco.

For Aguero, who had lost his place after the brilliant start made by the injured Gabriel Jesus, the performance was particularly impressive, according to his manager.

"It was the best performance I have ever seen from Sergio, for many, many things," said Guardiola.

"He was good with the ball, one against one, two against one. When he plays at that level, Sergio, he is unstoppable."

City will resume Premier League action on Sunday with a trip to Sunderland and Guardiola is yet to decide if Bravo will displace Caballero for the game.

"Now I make a good dinner, I am going to sleep with my wife. Tomorrow I'll decide on Sunderland," the 46-year-old said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2017, with the headline 'Pep has Calamity Bravo's back as City reach q-finals'. Print Edition | Subscribe