Pep Guardiola brands Alexander-Arnold injury a ‘disaster’ – calls for protection

Pep Guardiola has questioned the recent heavy schedule of games following the draw against Liverpool.

Manchester City fought back through Gabriel Jesus after Mohamed Salah opened the scoring from the spot, but Guardiola took time after the game to mention Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury.

The England defender was replaced by James Milner just after the hour mark at the Etihad, which is likely to rule him out of international duty ahead of the clash against Ireland on Thursday.

Guardiola was left disappointed by the injury to his rival, and fuming with the recent schedule.

He said after the points were shared: ”Trent Alexander-Arnold, international English player, now injured.

“Here we believe we are more special, we don't protect the players, so that is why it is a disaster. This calendar came from a year before and I will demand for players to come back otherwise it will be difficult to maintain it."

The former Barcelona boss has joined both Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in criticising the recent build-up of fixtures, before moving on to the debate around number of substitutions.

During the restart of the season teams were allowed to make five, but that has since been reverted to three.

Guardiola added: ”I don't understand it. I have a microphone and we give our opinions.

"The England right-back is now injured. Now he might be out for one month. There are many guys with many, many cases.

“Around the world five subs are key, but here it's totally the opposite. We've talked about this many times.

"The way Liverpool played and the way we behaved in response was incredible. I'm so proud of my players. The difference was that they got a penalty and we missed a penalty."

The Spaniard then told Sky Sports of the game in general: "A tight game, they started well, we conceded a goal and conceded a penalty like at Leicester. It was tight, in the second half we had a more clear chances but a draw is a fair result.

"It is not easy to defend against Liverpool, normally they have three in attack and now four, they ran in behind and you cannot stay there and they play in between the players.

“It is not easy to play but we adjusted a bit and had more courage to stay high. We made a good goal and unfortunately we missed a penalty. In games or opponents like Liverpool, if you miss a penalty is it more difficult.

"Three games, three goals for Gabriel Jesus, he did not train much so he did really good.”

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