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'Fernandinho is the only player I have' - Guardiola explains centre-back pairing

'Fernandinho is the only player I have' - Guardiola explains centre-back pairing

18/09/2019 at 21:34Updated 18/09/2019 at 22:41

Pep Guardiola has explained why he chose Fernandinho to partner Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of defence in the 3-0 away win at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have both suffered injuries in recent weeks, leaving Otamendi as the English champions' only recognised centre-back.

The Brazilian veteran, a midfielder by trade, played there against his old club and Guardiola says it was a move made out of necessity.

"We don't have many choices in defence, Fernandinho is the only one I have. He is a clever player and an incredible guy. He did it well," he told BT Sport.

Guardiola, meanwhile, was delighted with how the match in Ukraine panned out after Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea started their Champions League campaigns with losses.

"We saw the results yesterday and today, we know how difficult the Champions League is. We defended really well and we created chances.

"To start with three points away is so important, it is in our hands to reach the last 16.

"When you win the manager makes the right decisions, when you lose the wrong decisions. We lost one game in eight months and we will not doubt who these players are. It is a joy to be their manager."