Pep Guardiola explains why he benched Kevin De Bruyne for Man Citys defeat to Tottenham

Kevin De Bruyne was left out of the Man City starting line-up against Spurs (Picture: Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola has explained why he left Kevin De Bruyne out of the starting line-up as Manchester City flopped to a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

City were beaten thanks to a Son Heung-Min goal in the second half after Sergio Aguero had seen an early penalty saved by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris.

Guardiolas starting XI was something of a surprise, with Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan in the middle of midfield, with Riyad Mahrez, David Silva and Raheem Sterling ahead of them.

The Spaniard says that there was no injury or fitness issue for De Bruyne, it was a tactical decision to leave him out.

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola reacts during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Cardiff City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images
Guardiola went for a more defensive approach in north London (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

I decide to play with two holding midfielders, Guardiola said after his sides loss. [Fitness] Its not the issue. I know its tough for him.



We have the second leg, we spoke about that. We have 180 minutes, we played to score but we couldnt. It looks complicated but we will try.

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Tottenham now hold the advantage going into the second leg in Manchester next Wednesday, although their victory was marred by an injury to Harry Kane.

The England captain was forced off in the second half with an ankle injury after he challenged Fabian Delph on the touchline.

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