New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola got off to winning start as his side defeated Sunderland 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Guardiola, who took over from Manuel Pellegrini after guiding Bayern Munich to a domestic double last season, raised a few eyebrows prior to kick off as he opted to go with Willy Caballero in net instead of England keeper Joe Hart.
City took the lead in the 4th minute on a penalty kick by Sergio Aguero. Sunderland found an equalizer through Jermain Defoe in the 71st minute, but an own goal by former Manchester United defender Paddy McNair in the 87th minute gave City the win. Guardiola was pleased to get off to a winning start.
“For the first game at home it was going to be a question about the Premier League – you saw the results of the other games,” Guardiola told the club’s official website.
“I’m very pleased about the performance we achieved. Second half we played really, really well, we made good build ups, with Kolarov, Fernandinho and Sagna.
“Maybe we should attack quicker but that is normal. We have to learn. I saw many good things about the spirit of the team.”
Guardiola was asked about his decision to leave Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri out of the matchday squad.
“Yaya is trying very hard, Samir is training amazing. At the end I have a squad and I have to decide what I see. Today I chose this line up but that doesn’t mean they won’t play in the future.
“Today I decided the team because of many many reasons. I wanted aggression without the ball, to create a good build up. I think with John and Kolarov they did a really good job.”