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Guardiola pleased despite loss

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he was pleased with his side’s performance in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, despite falling 1-0 to rivals Manchester United.

United grab the victory at Old Trafford and moved into the quarterfinals after a goal by Juan Mata in the second half. The Spaniard found the back of the net in the 54th minute after getting a pass by Zlatan Ibrahimovic inside the penalty area. For City, it was the sixth straight game without a win, but despite getting knocked out, Guardiola was pleased with the performance.

“Yeah, it’s six games – not a good situation – but we are out of one competition, we have three still,” Guardiola said. “We are going to see. I happy with the players and we are going to try in the future.”

Guardiola was especially pleased with the youngsters like Aleix Garcia, 19, and Pablo Maffeo, 19, who got a chance in the starting lineup as City made nine changes compared to the team that took the field against Southampton over the weekend.

“Aleix was outstanding – Pablo Maffeo as well, fighting with [Marcus] Rashford and [Paul] Pogba,” Guardiola said. “We made a good performance, so there’s no regrets. We were still fighting until the last minute.

“We are a young team. Kelechi is 20, Leroy 20, Pablo 19 – it is a good experience for them. Fernando played amazing and helped the other ones.”

City takes on West Bromwich Albion on the road on Saturday before going up against Barcelona in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

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