Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was defiant he will not change his ways despite a harrowing night for goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on his return to Barcelona as a Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired a 4-0 Barca win on Wednesday.
Bravo was sent-off with City trailing just 1-0 for saving Luis Suarez’s effort when outside his area after gifting the ball to the Uruguayan striker, putting Guardiola’s decision to jettison England number one Joe Hart under more scrutiny.
“Until the last day I am a coach I will try to play from the goalkeeper,” said Guardiola.
“Of course you cannot play all the time, but it was a mistake and it sometimes happens.”
Bravo enjoyed two almost faultless years at Barca before joining City in August, but has endured a shaky start under Guardiola’s firm instructions to build City’s attack from the back.
“He (Bravo) has a lot of experience, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world for the last 10 years, but he will learn and is the first one in the dressing room to apologise.”
Bravo’s gaffe was just one of many City defensive howlers on the night as Messi took advantage of Fernandinho’s slip to give Barca an early lead. Messi curled home a second before Ilkay Gundogan’s misplaced pass played in Suarez, who squared for Messi to complete his hat-trick.
The scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for City had substitute goalkeeper Willy Caballero not saved a penalty from Neymar before the Brazilian made amends with a brilliant fourth.
“It is always difficult to play in Barcelona with 11 players and with 10 the game was over,” added Guardiola.
“We created enough chances, we arrive at the byline many times, but with their strikers when they arrive they punish you.”