Alan Shearer ‘surprised’ by Pep Guardiola substitute decision in FA Cup loss to Liverpool FC
Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer had admitted that he was “surprised” Pep Guardiola did not make his replacements earlier in the 3-2 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.
The Catalan boss made just one out of a possible five substitutions during the 90 minutes, bringing on Riyad Mahrez just seven minutes from time. Kevin De Bruyne – who picked up an ankle problem against Atletico Madrid – was seen warming up on the touchline but failed to make it off the bench in what was a frantic game.
Guardiola is known for not changing his on-pitch personnel when his team are in a sticky situation but Shearer questioned whether he should have bucked the trend on this occasion. “The one thing I was surprised about was Pep didn’t make the sub earlier,” he said.
“They put in a much better fight but Liverpool deserved to go through.” City went into the break 3-0 down after an Ibrahima Konate header and a brace from Sadio Mane – one of which was courtesy of a Zack Steffen howler.
Guardiola was questioned by Shearer for his selection of the American goalkeeper, who has been the club’s choice in the FA Cup this season. He compared his line-up decisions to Jurgen Klopp’s, suggesting they cost his team the win.
Shearer added: “Big decisions for Jurgen, in terms of his team selection, helped them win the game, no doubt. He played his number one goalkeeper and City didn’t. Ultimately, their goalkeeper made mistakes that cost them and Alisson pulled off two saves.”
The Premier League leaders were arguably the better team in the second half and managed to get two goals back, with strikes from Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva setting up a nervy final few minutes. But it wasn’t to be for City, who couldn’t quite get the equaliser despite a handful of opportunities in added time.
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