Guardiola makes Sarri defence after heavy loss

Following Chelsea’s heaviest defeat in any competition since 1991, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has pleaded for more time for his Chelsea counterpart Maurizio Sarri

Guardiola’s men took the Blues to the cleaners with a 6-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Sarri’s worst league defeat as a professional manager.

However, the former Barca manager sympathised with Sarri citing his own career struggles when he first joined the League and the Italian’s exploits as Napoli’s boss.

When asked if he felt pity for Sarri, Guardiola told Sky: “Yes of course. I know exactly what he wants to do. I think this kind of person – it always helps to make our (Premier League) football better.

“They beat us at Stamford Bridge – and against Napoli last season – they were tight games. During moments of those games, they were better than us.

“People don’t understand how difficult it is. I said many times, my first year was difficult too. Some moments we played good but not consistently.

“People expect ‘Okay, manager arrives, he buys players and immediately come [results]’ – it needs time. It depends on the belief from the owners, the people who are in charge; they really need to believe in that.

“The main reason I decided to come to Manchester City is because my bosses, the chairman specifically, I didn’t have to convince him. He knows me.

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“When it’s not going good, we try to find a solution. He doesn’t think I’m good when I win and bad when I lose. That is the reason why I am enjoying this period at this club.”

Emotional Sarri headed straight down the tunnel after the 6-0 drubbing, appearing to ignore Guardiola’s outstretched handshake.

“I spoke with (Chelsea assistant) Gianfranco Zola,” Guardiola added.

“Maurizio Sarri didn’t see me. I have a good relationship with him so it is no problem at all.”

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