Rio Ferdinand insists that Pep Guardiola was tactically “weak” in the Champions League final as they were beaten by Chelsea.
Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City failed to win break their Champions League duck in their first ever final despite being the overwhelming favourites.
Guardiola made the surprising call not to include Rodri or Fernandinho as defensive midfielders, despite setting up in a 4-3-3 system.
Kevin de Bruyne played as the furthest man forward without a recognised striker.
And BT Sport pundit Ferdinand admitted that Guardiola’s tinkering had cost his side against a Chelsea side that were well set up by Thomas Tuchel.
“I think that will be levelled at him, I’m sure, because he changed the way he played all season,” he told BT Sport.
“He’s always had Rodri in there, or Fernandinho, and he didn’t do that today and he changed it.
“He must have seen something because I spoke to him earlier in the week and he seemed quietly confident.”
“We all know tactically, he tinkers with his team, he might see a weakness somewhere but today, Tuchel, the way he set his team up today really nullified any threat this Man City team had.”
Ferdinand also criticised Guardiola’s decision to play Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling out wide.
He added: “Today, they played with two wide men, really wide, Mahrez and Sterling, and they haven’t done that often this year. That might be one of the areas he maybe got wrong.”
Trying to divert the attention away from his own players somewhat, Guardiola praised Chelsea’s counter-attack, while admitting City should have taken their chances.
“In the second-half, we were brilliant, we were brave but we could not convert the goals, because defensively they are so strong, so fast in the counter-attack,” said the Spaniard.
“We didn’t allow them to make the process to play, the players were exceptional for them. Yeah, we’ll come back maybe one day again.”
On what is next for him and his team, Guardiola added: “The ambition now is rest. After we will prepare for the next season and try to recover with the players coming back in two or three months.
“Game by game, we will try to do it. It’s the first time we’re at these stages, for us, it’s a moment to be here and hopefully we will return in the future.”