Date: 2nd December 2019 at 6:00pm
Written by: Tony O'Connell

Many Newcastle United fans have been reacting on social media, after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola offered an unenthusiastic verdict of Steve Bruce’s tactics during our 2-2 draw on Saturday.

A first-half strike from Jetro Willems and an 88th-minute hit from Jonjo Shelvey ensured the points were split at the weekend, after Raheem Sterling handed the Sky Blues the lead and Kevin de Bruyne later restored the visitor’s advantage.

Guardiola’s Etihad Stadium natives had enjoyed more of the ball than we on Saturday, with the reigning Premier League champions allowed to control possession for 76.4% of proceedings, per WhoScored data.

With it, the Sky Blues attempted 24 shots of which just nine were on target, compared to our return of three shots on target from a total of six efforts, having enjoyed less than a quarter of the ball.

Bruce setting the players out to hold firm in front of our goal did not go down well with Guardiola, though.

“It was a tight game like we expected,” said Guardiola, via quotes by the Chronicle. “They defend solid, had 10 players in the box. It’s one of those days, they defend so deep, we play so good.

“Maybe in the first-half, we should move more left-right-right-left, but we created enough chances. We conceded two short on target and concede two goals. He way we played was really good, we created chances and 10 players in the box is not easy, [Martin] Dubravka made good saves.”

The heatmaps recorded by WhoScored at the weekend showed Guardiola’s point regarding Bruce’s gameplan being defensive orientated, with our players recording more of their touches inside our penalty area than anywhere else on the pitch.

A large percentage of City’s play was also carried out in-between the halfway line and the edge of our penalty area, as they strived in search of openings that could lead to a goal.

Was Bruce right to focus on defending vs Man City?

Yes, no need to get thrashed at home

Yes, no need to get thrashed at home

No, he should have been attacking

No, he should have been attacking

Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to Guardiola’s comments…

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