When Manchester City won 2-1 against Southampton in the final minute of their game at the Etihad Stadium in the 2017/18 season, thanks to a goal from Raheem Sterling, it was Pep Guardiola’s reaction after the game with Nathan Redmond that captured most headlines. .
With Manchester City players and staff all celebrating the last-gasp goal, Guardiola had different plans. Instead of joining in the jubilations, the Catalan manager headed straight for Nathan Redmond, animatedly speaking to the opposition team’s winger.
Much has been speculated about Guardiola told Redmond at the time, but the 29-year-old, now playing in Turkey for Besiktas, revealed to FourFourTwo what actually happened.
“The season beforehand, my first at Southampton, I’d played really well and scored at the Etihad when we drew with City,” Redmond told FFT.
“Then, under a new manager in Mauricio Pellegrino, we went there with a bank of four, a bank of five and one up top. We defended for the whole game.
“Pep was a bit annoyed that I was playing like that after last time. He was telling me, ‘You are a really good player, why are you playing like this?’ He was trying to be as respectful as possible, but that’s him. Whenever we’ve spoken since, it’s always been very respectful. I haven’t got a bad word to say about him.”
Manchester City went on to amass 100 points in the 2017/18 season, the only time a Premier League side has reached the historic tally. Aptly named the Centurions, Redmond is clearly full of respect for the side.
The one-cap England international suffered worse defeats during his time on the south coast, though – not least two 9-0 defeats at the hands of Leicester City and Manchester United.
Clearly they stung, but Redmond believes they actually managed to galvanize the squad as a blessing in disguise.
“We had a sending off in both games, but the first one hurt the most,” Redmond explained.
“At half time against Leicester, it was 5-0 and I just remember thinking, ‘We can’t concede any more’. I was playing up front on my own, running around as much as I could.
“It seemed like every chance they created was going to go in, but it was probably one of the best things that happened to us because after that we had quite a good run of form. It was a wake-up call and ignited something in us as a group.”