Man City manager Pep Guardiola says Kyle Walker's red card was 'not necessary' after Champions League defeat

Kyle Walker sent off late on after a challenge on Andre Silva and will not be available for the last-16 fixtures; Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva gave RB Leipzig a 2-0 lead; Riyad Mahrez's header replied for Man City, who were already through as group winners

Kyle Walker was sent off after a challenge on Andre Silva
Image: Kyle Walker was sent off after a challenge on Andre Silva

Pep Guardiola says Kyle Walker's red card in Manchester City's Champions League defeat at RB Leipzig, which will see him miss out on the last 16, was "not necessary".

Walker was sent off after lashing out at Leipzig striker Andre Silva, catching him on the back of the ankles. There was a confrontation between the two before Walker was shown a straight red card.

While it came late in the game at the Red Bull Arena, the right-back will now be unavailable for the upcoming knockout fixtures in February, with their opponent being drawn on December 13.

An unimpressed Guardiola remained tight-lipped on what may have been said after the game, telling his post-match press conference: "It was a red card - definitely. I'm not coming here to say what happened in the dressing room."

Later asked by BT Sport, Guardiola added: "It's not necessary. He cannot play in the last 16 and Kyle Walker is so important for us. We must always be in control of our emotions, especially in this competition... Hopefully he will learn for the future."

It was a dismal evening in Germany, with the final match of Group A played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions in the country.

Goals from Dominik Szoboszlai and Silva saw Leipzig - who parted ways with Jesse Marsch on Friday - into a 2-0 lead, before Riyad Mahrez's header pulled a goal back for City.

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Andre Silva celebrates after doubling RB Leipzig's lead against Man City
Image: Andre Silva celebrates after doubling RB Leipzig's lead against Man City

However, it was not enough to inspire a comeback, although Guardiola's side were already assured of top spot after being Paris Saint-Germain in their penultimate game. RB Leipzig secured third place with the victory, and will go into the Europa League next year.

Reflecting on the game, the City manager said: "The first half, we lacked a little bit of rhythm... They have a really good team, we knew it from before the group stage. But the second half was much better, but unfortunately, one or two mistakes and they punished us.

"We played better in the second half. We were more aggressive, we played to win the game and we lost it. Congratulations to Leipzig.

"We made an incredible group stage, we qualified with one game left in a tough group. I am more than satisfied with the performance in every single game and in February, hopefully we can arrive in the best condition possible."

Phil Foden was taken off at half-time after feeling discomfort in his ankle
Image: Phil Foden was taken off at half-time after feeling discomfort in his ankle

There were also injury concerns for Natahan Ake and Phil Foden. The latter was replaced by Raheem Sterling at half-time, while Ake struggled with a back problem towards the end of the game.

However, the good news was a full 90 minutes for Kevin De Bruyne as he continues to reach full match fitness after being sidelined with Covid-19.

Guardiola added: "Nathan has a problem with his back, we will see tomorrow. Phil had problems in the beginning of the game with his ankle, he struggled a little bit. As a precaution, I decided to put Raheem in his position."

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