Pep Guardiola has insisted that “fighting is taking place” after being filmed lambasting Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez after the victory over RB Leipzig.
Manchester City launched their latest Champions League challenge with a remarkable 6-3 victory over Leipzig at 10 at the Etihad Stadium.
Five different City players made their way onto the scoresheet for last season’s finalists, who also took advantage of an own goal in a thrilling end-to-end encounter to open Group A.
Christopher Nkunku scored a brilliant hat-trick in a losing cause for the visitors, who sent out former City Angelino left-back in the second half.
Nathan Ake opened the scoring for City with Nordi Mukiele transforming into his own net and Mahrez adding a penalty in the first half.
Grealish marked his first Champions League appearance with City’s first goal in the second half before Joao Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus also scored.
However, the offensive display couldn’t stop two of City’s game winners from getting a good ear on the sideline.
Speaking after the game, Grealish admitted his manager simply wanted more from his squad as they looked to improve on their crushing defeat in the final to Chelsea last season.
“It was just defensive work,” he told BT Sport. “I won’t go into too much detail because he might want the same tactics for the weekend.
“That’s how the manager is, he always wants more defensively and offensively. He’s someone I’m going to listen to after everything he’s done in the game. He’s obviously just handing out useful information.
“We talked at half-time about how we have to do it and they didn’t,” Guardiola explained of the arguments to BT Sport. “Fighting is taking place.
“They’re so good, they make four players to pull you behind midfielders where there aren’t a lot of players, where the ball comes out and they’re so quick when they attack from behind.
“It’s not easy to control it, but when you get that ball back there are a lot of players in front of the ball and in the transition to make a pass or two behind you have a chance to attack.”