Man City boss Pep Guardiola talks Erling Haaland and why Stefan Ortega played in 2-1 Brighton win

Stefan Ortega of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on October 21, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gave his explanation for playing Stefan Ortega in goal ahead of Ederson in Saturday’s win against Brighton. Goals from Julián Álvarez and Erling Haaland sealed a 2-1 win for City to send them back to the top of the Premier League.

Stefan Ortega played ahead of the Brazilian keeper as City bounced back from a poor run of form. Guardiola explained his decision making to the media after the match at the Etihad Stadium.

He said: “Just for the fact that the travel for Ederson from Brazil is a long time. Of course it happened many times but he played two games there and he arrived and the first day he arrived he was so so tired and sometimes I like to… normally I like to play Ortega in the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup but we are out of the Carabao Cup, and some games and sometimes it’s good for Ederson too, to rest a bit to refresh your mind.

“Sometimes the players can be tired, and keepers can be tired too and with the ball he is really good, he has good composure, is patient, he has quality in his passing. That is why we decided on him.”

Guardiola also talked of how star striker Erling Haaland is handling the pressure. He said: “Yes the expectations are so high but he handled it really well. He knows he would have scored more goals in that group stage, in that 9 PL games.

“The treble had an influence on all of us, me included, so we need to be there, close there the month running on and arrive in the final decision moments at the end of the season being close to the opponents and try it again, so I said many times no one has won 4 in a row, never ever, that shows how difficult it is but now it’s important to be there, especially in the champions league, qualify for the next round and in this period and now we have two games like we can give the first one and after the second game against Young Boys at home we can be there and after we can just focus in the Premier League, premier league, premier league.

“That is the target. That is why today was really important because I saw the team against this team which I know exactly what happens to the opponents when they play against them so they have the possibility to have really good minutes and we can't deny the opportunity to bring that position. It’s really important.”

City face a trip to Switzerland to face Young Boys in the Champions League on Wednesday. Their next league match will be the small matter of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.