FA fines Pep Guardiola for ribbon backing Catalan politicians

Manchester City advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals despite suffering its first home defeat in over a year, going through 5-2 on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat by Swiss champion Basel on Wednesday.

Just like everyone else, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola doesn't like Mondays.

The Catalan-born manager will continue to wear the ribbon for pre and post-match media commitments - which is permitted because the FA's regulations refer specifically to the technical area during games.

Following events a year ago surrounding Catalonia's bid to break away from Spain, which included a referendum and a proclamation of independence, both deemed illegal, the authorities jailed several leaders of the movement.

Raheem Sterling could return for Manchester City's clash with Stoke. Last season City won all three of their Monday fixtures, although two of them were on public holidays on Boxing Day and January 2.

"You will find in all the clubs in the world", Guardiola said, "that when you make six changes, the team is not the same".

"That's why I insisted to start well and we did well in the first half".

Pep Guardiola has suggested that he hates playing on Mondays because it brings him misfortune, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

City's only other experience of Monday night football this season saw them held 1-1 by Everton in August, a game in which they had another player dismissed, Kyle Walker.

Guardiola said: "It was important he played 90 minutes".

City initially lead through Gabriel Jesus before Raphael Wicky's men completed an impressive turnaround, and though Guardiola wasn't pleased with his side's performance, he was nonetheless impressed with Elyounoussi - who is attracting attention.

He said: "The distance is not normal in the beginning of March". "The champions are still Chelsea".

"We have to take the points as soon as possible".

"When we face teams that are fighting to stay in the Premier League, you can not imagine how complicated it is".

"When the opportunity comes for me, I'll do my best and I'm sure that they'll support me".

  • Angelo Rivera