Man City boss Pep Guardiola has criticised Kyle Walker’s “unnecessary” red card in the Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening.
Having already secured top spot in Group A, City slipped to a 2-1 defeat in Saxony courtesy of strikes from Dominik Szoboszlai and André Silva. Riyad Mahrez had pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 76th minute, but Walker’s dismissal six minutes later did not help their cause in searching for a leveller.
The England international – one of the most experienced players in the Man City squad – was shown a straight red card for a blatant and rash kick out at Silva’s ankle as the striker looked to protect the ball on the left flank.
Guardiola will now be without his first-choice right-back for the first leg of the Citizens’ last 16 tie in the new year, and his one-match ban could be extended should UEFA deem the foul play to have been serious enough.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, it was clear that the Catalan was less than impressed with Walker‘s decision-making.
“It’s a red card definitely,” he said. “The red card hurts us, especially for the round of 16. Kyle Walker is an important player for us and it unnecessary to lose him like this.
“I hope he learns from this.”
In his assessment of the overall performance, Guardiola continued: “We played better in the second half, [we were] more aggressive, we played to win the game and we lost it so congrats to Leipzig.
“First half we lacked rhythm, we had problems to contact, and they had a really good team, we knew it before the group stage, but the second half was much better.
“But, unfortunately, we were punished with one or two mistakes.
“We made an incredible group stage. We qualified with a game left in a top group, so we are more than satisfied with the performance in every single game.
“In February hopefully we can arrive in the best condition possible.”