Pep Guardiola labels Benjamin Mendy ‘one of the good guys’ despite Covid-19 breach

Pep Guardiola has defender French full-back Benjamin Mendy after his breach of Covid-19 regulations calling him ‘one of the good guys.’

Pep Guardiola labels Benjamin Mendy ‘one of the good guys’ despite Covid-19 breach

‘One of the good guys’

Pep Guardiola has defended his decision to include Benjamin Mendy in his matchday squad for the away fixture with Chelsea. The French full-back was an unused substitute with Oleksandr Zinchenko starting in the left full-back position.

It had been reported that Mendy had breached Covid-19 regulations during New Year’s Eve. Manchester City have been facing serious Covid-19 issues with eight members of playing and backroom staff testing positive. Carl Walker, Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia are among those who have tested positive for the virus.

However, the Spanish coach has backed Mendy claiming he had ‘good intentions.’

“No, he’s part of the group, he’s one of the good guys. It must be love in our group. He’s a special guy for all of us, he has an incredible heart. I would like to see how many people judge him, if they have the good intentions he has,” said Guardiola.

“It would be better if, before we judge others, we judge ourselves. I’m not justifying that, he broke the rules. But don’t give too many lessons to others.”

Pep Guardiola labels Benjamin Mendy ‘one of the good guys’ despite Covid-19 breach

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola reacts after a goal scored by his team during the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester City FC at the OSK Metalist stadium in Kharkiv on September 18, 2019. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

“Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don’t judge him too much. Maybe many people have done the same. It’s easy to judge others. If everyone put those intentions aside, maybe it would be better.”

Manchester City are still conducting an internal investigation as to Mendy’s breach of the regulations.

Won for the squad

Guardiola has said that their 3-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday afternoon was done for the benefit of the squad. As mentioned, many of the Manchester City squad and backroom staff are suffering from the Covid-19 virus having tested positive and are now self-isolating.

It meant that Guardiola was without his number one keeper Ederson and also no recognised starting striker with Jesus out and Sergio Aguero on the bench still recovering from a long-term injury.

“We played really well,” said Guardiola during his post-match press conference. “I say thank you to all the players in this difficult time because friends, players and backroom staff are suffering with COVID-19.

Pep Guardiola labels Benjamin Mendy ‘one of the good guys’ despite Covid-19 breach

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JUNE 22: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City gives his team instructions during a drinks break during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium on June 22, 2020 in Manchester, England. Football stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venus resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“They make a step forward and they make an incredible display against one of the best teams in England. A good result for us to be close to the top of the league. The important thing today is not just the result but especially the way we play. We understand each other. The players played really well.”

The win moved Manchester City up to fifth place in the table and just four points of leaders Liverpool and Manchester United. The Citizens also have a game in hand which would put them a single point behind their Manchester and Merseyside rivals.

Manchester City respond to Benjamin Mendy’s New Year’s Eve Covid-19 breach with 8 positive tests now recorded

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United FC 17 10 36
2 Leicester City FC 18 12 35
3 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 18 16 33
5 Manchester City FC 16 12 32
6 Everton FC 17 7 32
7 Chelsea FC 18 12 29
8 Southampton FC 18 5 29
9 West Ham United FC 18 4 29
10 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
11 Arsenal FC 18 1 24
12 Leeds United 18 -4 23
13 Crystal Palace FC 18 -7 23
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 19 -8 22
15 Newcastle United FC 17 -9 19
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 19 -7 17
17 Burnley FC 17 -13 16
18 Fulham FC 17 -11 12
19 West Bromwich Albion 18 -27 11
20 Sheffield United FC 19 -22 5
Premier League 20/21
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 5