Pep Guardiola explains why Shakhtar loss is good for Man City

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Pep Guardiola is adamant that Manchester City needed to lose to Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of the Manchester Derby this weekend.

Guardiola put out a weakened side against Shakhtar with his side already confirmed as group winners going into the game and suffered their first loss of the season as a result.

The incredibly highly rated Phil Foden was given his first professional start in the match after making his debut as a substitute in the previous game against Feyenoord.

And he wasn't the only young player involved; defender Tosin Adarabioyo also started the game, while midfielder Brahim Díaz came off the bench in a rotated squad.

It's therefore not too surprising that City suffered their first defeat of the season going up against a team who knew a win would confirm an unlikely passage into the knockout stages.

The highly motivated Ukrainian's got themselves a 2-0 lead before half-time through Bernard and Ismaily, holding on to the lead to qualify at the expense of Napoli.

The defeat comes at what most would consider the worst possible time for Man City and Guardiola: right before their biggest game of the season against local rivals, and nearest title challengers, Manchester United.

Guardiola, however, believes City needed to lose the game.

"It hurts. It is never nice to lose a game," the Spaniard said. "But we have said many times we cannot win all the time, we are going to lose games. Today was the first."

Those are quite obviously the usual manager quotes after such a defeat, but Pep didn't stop there, going on to put a positive twist on the result like only he can.

"We needed to lose a game," he explained. "It will be good for the club, for all of us and the media. People say things when you win a lot and you can forget that now.

"We saw many good things but we made mistakes and we are going to improve on that. Football is how you recover in the good moments and bad moments to stay stable."

And what he's saying certainly makes sense. It was a game that didn't matter to Man City as they were through anyway and perhaps takes a little pressure off the side as they head into the game.

Not that City aren't chasing records in that regard - they currently sit on the joint-best winning run in English top-flight history. Can you think of someone who might enjoy ending that?

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