Guardiola Satisfied With Barcelona Despite Defeat To Manchester City

The Catalan coach reflects on defeat in the Joan Gamper Trophy...

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola had words of praise for his team after they lost to Manchester City in last night's pre-season friendly at the Camp Nou.

City's Martin Petrov scored the only goal of the game, in which Guardiola used 22 players in an experimental outing for the Blaugrana.

"We had many changes during the game, the young players [Fontes, Muniesa, Montoya, Jeffren, Tiago and Gai] played to a good level and some of the players recovering from injury have played some minutes. Overall I am very pleased with the performance," said Guardiola.

Despite the fact neither side played a full-strength team, the win is an important step for the Citizens as they look to make their mark in the Premier League after a summer of significant spending.

Guardiola continued, "City are a team with big stars and we knew it would be difficult.

"They scored a goal and almost scored another at the end, but we had our chances too and it was a good match."

The coach also praised debutant Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has returned after a recovering from a fractured bone in his hand.

"Ibrahimovic has trained a lot but lacks continuity, he needs more time. Gradually he will learn to play with his team-mates. I am happy with what he did," he added.

"He has had a hand injury and had an operation, but he is moving well and little by little, with patience, he will become a great player for this club."

Guardiola also said that Xavi was given a rest, while crowd favourite Andres Iniesta is on the road to recovery following a thigh strain and viral infection.

"Little by little Iniesta will return to the team," he confirmed. 

Paul Madden, Goal.com