(Reuters) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Kyle Walker’s red card in their 2-1 Champions League defeat by RB Leipzig was “unnecessary” and that the England international needed to learn from his mistake.
Walker was sent off in the 82nd minute for kicking goalscorer Andre Silva and will be suspended when City return to European action for the knockout rounds in February.
“Kyle Walker is an important player for us and it is unnecessary to lose him like this,” Guardiola said. “I hope he learns from this. The red card hurts us, especially for the round of 16.
“It’s a red card, definitely. I’m not coming here to say what happened in the dressing room.”
Despite the defeat, Guardiola commended his side for securing top spot in their group.
“The second half was much, much better. We were more aggressive, we played to win the game but, unfortunately, we made one or two mistakes and they punished us,” the Spaniard said.
“But in general we made an incredibly good group stage. We qualified with one game left from a tough group, so I am more than satisfied with the performance in every single game.”
Guardiola also said Phil Foden was taken off at half-time as a “precaution” due to an ankle issue early in the match and Nathan Ake had a back issue.
Premier League leaders City host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)