Guardiola ready to learn from 2021 final as Manchester City focus on treble


Pep Guardiola has admitted he may have made mistakes in his team selection when Manchester City lost against Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final.

City face Internazionale on Saturday in the final in Istanbul attempting to complete the treble, with Kyle Walker a doubt because of a back problem.

Against Chelsea in Porto two years ago, Guardiola’s decision to drop João Cancelo and Rodri, his usual left-back and central midfielder, and choose Raheem Sterling, who had lost his regular berth, caused surprise.

City lost 1-0 to a Kai Havertz strike and the manager received criticism for his selection. On Tuesday he was asked whether this was fair, and whether the experience might affect his decision-making for Saturday.

Walker did not participate in the training session on Tuesday, City’s first since their FA Cup final triumph against Manchester United last Saturday, in which he was replaced towards the end.

“He had a disturbance in his back,” Guardiola said. “Yesterday [Monday] he was not good. Today he was a little bit better. We didn’t want to take a risk and we will see in the next days.” Walker later completed his media duties and said: “I’m fine, I’m just getting old! No, I’m completely fine. It’s just an extra day of recovery.”

The meeting with Inter, who finished 18 points behind Napoli in Serie A, is City’s second appearance in the final of Europe’s premier club competition.