By G9ija

Pep Guardiola has confirmed he dropped Kevin De Bruyne from the Manchester City starting line-up for Tuesday’s loss to Tottenham for tactical reasons.

De Bruyne only came off the bench in the 89th minute at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and was unable to inspire a late comeback as City fell to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Guardiola chose Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho to support David Silva in midfield, but City did not manage a shot on target after the 47th minute, meaning Son Heung-min’s 78th-minute strike proved decisive after Sergio Aguero missed a first-half penalty.

City boss Guardiola insists his side played well, though, having explained he left out De Bruyne to make the core of his side more defensively sound.

I decided to play with two holding midfielders in that position to be a bit more solid,” he told a news conference. I decided for the other ones. I know it is tough for him De Bruyne.

He said of the result:”Now we know what we have to do. I have the feeling the game was quite good. We controlled them and arrived with some quality situations.

In the high competitions, at a high level, you have to live these situations. Now we have another option, another chance and that is the point.

They had a few chances on the counter-attack but we controlled the game and played quite good.

If we are not able to arrive in the last stages of the tournament it is because it is a challenge. The situation is what it is.

When we don’t play good, I am the guy who says we didn’t play good, but I don’t have that feeling.

Bernardo Silva was also omitted, having picked up a problem in training, but Guardiola hopes to have him back for next week’s second leg.

In the season there are injuries, there are problems and I hope Bernardo will be fit in the next week,” he said.

Guardiola has now called on City fans to make the return at the Etihad Stadium a daunting prospect for Spurs, as he attempts to keep his own side’s quadruple challenge on track.

We did not have a single day to prepare training on the pitch; they had six days,” he said.

Hopefully, our people can support us every single minute. Hopefully, the Etihad is full with our supporters.

We know what we have to do: score goals, play as best as possible. We are going to try.

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