The Norway global cancelled out Gabriel Jesus's opener and set up Michael Lang for the victor at the Etihad Stadium in the UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg. "When it's scary to be (knocked) out, the rhythm will be completely different".
"You will find in all the clubs in the world", Guardiola said, "that when you make six changes, the team is not the same".
"We will watch United vs Liverpool as a spectator and it would have happened whether there was this big difference or not". You should always try to play in a serious way.
Meanwhile, Guardiola has admitted he does not like playing on Mondays before City's visit to Stoke.
"The same when I wear the prostate cancer badge, it's the same, the idea is the same, there are a lot of ribbons".
"It's 3-1, because it's Madrid".
"He is a good player for the future".
English referees chief Mike Riley was at City's training ground for discussions with director of football Txiki Begiristain on Tuesday, following Guardiola's complaints that players should be more effectively protected from unsafe challenges. Hopefully, the players will come back safe - without injuries - and we will go to Everton and the quarter-finals.
And Jesus insisted his is happy to play a supporting role in City's bid for Premier League and Champions League glory.
"The Champions League is completely different in certain situations", he added.
It was around this time past year that Guardiola wondered out loud to reporters what might have been for City had Jesus been fit and available all season.
Jesus made his first start for City since New Year's Eve this week after another enforced spell on the sidelines, this time with medial knee ligament damage. "If it is red, you are out of the Champions League".
Guardiola hopes Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling will be fit to play at Stoke after recovering from hamstring injuries but Fabian Delph, available after completing a three-match ban, is struggling with a muscle problem.
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