Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy has the potential to be a top-class left-back but wants the defender to show more maturity, noting: "I'm not his father."

Mendy's career since joining City from Monaco has been heavily disrupted by a series of injuries, the most recent of which has kept him on the sidelines for two months.

But Mendy is set to return to action as City head to Burton Albion for the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday, holding a 9-0 lead from the first leg.

His availability will be a huge boost for the Premier League champions as they compete for honours on multiple fronts, Guardiola having had to use Fabian Delph, Aymeric Laporte and Oleksandr Zinchenko as makeshift left-backs in Mendy's absence.

The 24-year-old has become popular for his inimitable, inventive use of social media - racking up over a million Twitter followers - and while Guardiola is thrilled to welcome Mendy back he wants the defender to show more focus on his football.

"I am delighted with Benjamin," Guardiola told a news conference. "I am sad because we were not able to play him because of injuries but that sometimes happens.

"The way he is training, the way he is in the locker room... you cannot imagine how much the people love him. I am delighted – I just want to use him more! That's all.

"I am not unhappy with Mendy [using social media heavily]. I am not here to change his mentality. His way, the way he lives... is what it is. When we bought him, we knew it.

"So, when we are talking about training sessions, always it's perfect but he is active on social media. He likes to be. It is what it is. 

"We try to convince him, but I'm not his father! [I tell him]: 'Be focused on your job and what we have to do. You are young, and you can be one of the best left-backs, but it's up to you.'"

Eric Garcia is set to be one of a number of young players given a chance to impress by Guardiola, with his side in such a dominant position against Burton.

The defender's long-term City future appears assured but Guardiola indicated he is unsure whether or not the teenager would benefit from a loan spell.

"I can count on him," Guardiola said of the 18-year-old. "He showed me an incredible personality in the EFL Cup [ties against Leicester City and Burton], and especially in pre-season when he played with younger players.

"It's easier when you are a young player to come in and play close to Nico [Otamendi], or David Silva or Kevin [De Bruyne] – but play there with six, seven young academy players, and he was really the captain, and he guides and he leads in three hard games.

"He was incredibly good. In the EFL Cup he was good. But he's young. Is he a third, fourth defender, one more year in academy, or do we loan? We are going to decide in the next months what happens next season.

"But I am incredibly satisfied, not just with the games but the way he trains, his behaviour, how polite he is, how he listens, how when he has doubts, he always asks myself, my staff, Mikel [Arteta].

"He is so smart, so intelligent. He understands everything so quick. His physicality is not so strong, but he resolves situations by thinking. I like to work with intelligent people and he is one of them."

Pep Guardiola accepts Nicolas Otamendi is not happy at Manchester City because of a lack of game-time.

Otamendi is competing for selection with City captain Vincent Kompany, England defender John Stones and previous club-record signing Aymeric Laporte at centre-back.

The Argentina international has only started eight Premier League matches this term, having to take a place on the bench for a further 13 matches.

Otamendi is in line to feature when City travel to Burton Albion for the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday, the Premier League champions holding a 9-0 lead from the first meeting.

And Guardiola concedes it is becoming more challenging to keep players such as Otamendi satisfied despite City still competing for four competitions this season.

"He's not happy - I don't have an answer," Guardiola told reporters at a news conference.

"When he plays he's happy, when he doesn't he's not happy. I don't know what I can do. When he doesn't play he's not happy.

"He could play every week, he can play and I know he's there. He can help us in the build up, I've got three central defenders and Vinny [Kompany] as well. He played [against] Southampton and was excellent, sometimes I have to decide one or the other.

"John came back well after the World Cup, he wants to play a lot of games. Nico - I know we can count on him, an incredible professional and always he's ready. I can understand it."

Asked if players such as Otamendi being unsettled could result in them leaving the club, Guardiola suggested it is a problem director of football Txiki Begiristain may have to handle.

"It depends on the players, I don't want sad players here," he added. "If you are not happy you knock on Txiki's door.

"At the end of the season they have to reflect. If they don't play and are not happy they have to move. I know they are able to do it and I don't have any complaints about that.

"You see the schedule, the games everyone plays. Except the last game, [Fabian] Delph three games suspended, the others play, there's not one guy with more than two or three games with not playing.

"There is not one who is not playing games and it didn't happen. Selection is the hardest part, I am honest, in my job, you look at what happens, some need extra games for the confidence, it's many reasons, not just being naive selection."

Benjamin Mendy could make his Manchester City return from a knee injury in Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Burton Albion, with Pep Guardiola acknowledging he has missed the Frenchman.

Left-back Mendy missed most of last season after rupturing the cruciate ligament in his knee, and then had to have surgery on his meniscus in November after starting the season well.

Mendy last played for City on November 11, the 3-1 derby win over Manchester United, meaning Guardiola has generally had to play players out of position to ease the loss.

City travel to Burton on Wednesday having won the first leg 9-0 in Manchester, and Guardiola is expected to ring the changes, with Mendy part of the group heading to the midlands.

"He [Mendy] is in the squad tomorrow [Wednesday], yes, he travels with us, maybe [he will be on the bench," Guardiola told reporters.

"The results say what we have done, I would say they say we have not missed him much, but I would say I miss him a lot.

"He is unstoppable, especially in the last third. He's so clever. He doesn't cross to just cross, he's clever.

"I have the feeling he gives us extra. Hopefully in the last part of the season the club can use him."

Kevin De Bruyne is also among those heading to Burton and will feature in some capacity as he continues to build up his fitness, while some of City's younger players look set for a run-out, with Phil Foden included.

"We're going to play Phil and have a few [youngsters] on the bench," he added. "Two, three or four [young players] will play, and two, three or four on the bench. De Bruyne is going to play."

Goalkeeper Arijanet Muric, just 20, has featured in four EFL Cup games this season and is set to feature again on Wednesday, and he is very highly rated by Guardiola.

"He has incredible potential as a goalkeeper," Guardiola said. "He's so big, tall, fast, and not scared. He can show how good he is [against Burton]."

Lucas Moura will be fit enough to be in Tottenham's squad for the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Chelsea, says Mauricio Pochettino.

Pep Guardiola said Kevin De Bruyne "knows where I am" if he has a problem with having been substituted in Manchester City's thrashing of Burton Albion on Wednesday.

Gabriel Jesus hailed his "special" week after boosting his case for Manchester City selection over "legend" Sergio Aguero with five goals in two games.

After getting on the scoresheet in a 7-0 FA Cup win over Rotherham United at the weekend, Jesus hit four in a 9-0 demolition of Burton Albion in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

With Aguero not in the squad for the Burton game, Jesus staked his claim to start Monday's Premier League game at home to Wolves as the title race continues.

City boss Pep Guardiola has challenged Jesus to push Aguero hard for a place in City's front line and the Brazil striker is relishing the battle.

"Sergio is a legend here, important to the club, and plays very well – we all know that," Jesus told reporters after the first four-goal haul of his career.

"I'm here to help the team, to help Sergio, Pep and everyone and work hard, make it happen.

"I just wanted to enjoy the game and score. Sergio has scored a lot of goals for City and I respect him as a legend, so when Pep puts him in the team, he helps. I am the same when I am on the pitch.

"It was very important for my mentality. I need to score goals, I know that. Sometimes it's difficult but I always try to score and help the team. I am a striker so I have to score, but I always try to play well and help the team every time.

"This week is special to me because I have scored a lot. I maybe I tried too hard against Rotherham and missed two or three goals. I work hard every day on scoring goals, and that is why this made me so happy, as my work paid off."

Jesus has only scored three goals in 16 Premier League appearances this season but the 21-year-old feels he is bouncing back from a period of poor form after underachieving at last year's World Cup.

"Last year was difficult for me after the World Cup, but I have forgotten that now," Jesus added. "I think I played very well at the World Cup but didn't score a goal. In Brazil it is difficult when you are a striker and don't score at the World Cup.

"My feeling is back, and I have been so happy that my family is here with me. On Tuesday they go to Brazil, but that is life. You need to work, to do what you love, and football is what I love."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's "incredible" start as caretaker manager at Manchester United.

Solskjaer has won his opening five matches after replacing Jose Mourinho in December – equalling Matt Busby's record in a 2-0 FA Cup victory against Reading last week.

The 45-year-old Norwegian – appointed until the end of the season – could surpass Busby's record with victory against Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Asked about Solskjaer following Manchester City's 9-0 humiliation of Burton Albion in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, Guardiola reporters: "His start is much better than mine, I lost my first game and drew the second [after being appointed in 2016].

"He won all the games. He is a young manager, getting incredible results. I saw a few minutes of games they played and they played good.

"But it is not my business to talk about other opponents, we have a tough game around the corner against Wolves.

"It will be a tough game. We have one day off and then prepare for the game."

Premier League champions City are second in the league, four points behind leaders Liverpool and 12 ahead of sixth-placed United.

Oleksandr Zinchenko says Manchester City wanted to score double figures as they thrashed Burton Albion 9-0 in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final.

Gabriel Jesus scored four times as City ran riot at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, League One side Burton humbled in the club's first cup semi.

City put seven past Rotherham United in the FA Cup last time out but Zinchenko, also on target in the joint-biggest win of Pep Guardiola's managerial career, craved even more goals.

"It's the first time I've played in a win like this," he told reporters. "To be fair we scored a lot of goals, we wanted more, and our fans did too. We wished we could get 10, maybe next time.

"At half-time Pep said keep going in the same way, the same spirit and if we can score more."

Zinchenko scored the fourth goal of City's largest victory since 1987, but he denied suggestions he was not trying to find the net.

"Was my goal a cross?!" he joked. "A little respect please."

Jesus has struggled for consistent form this season but the Brazil striker hit his second home hat-trick for City.

"I have never scored four before in my career," he said.

"I am so happy for this. We played very well and with respect, that's important.

"Players like me want to play more, to help the team, and we went out there to win."

Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City's rampant performance in their 9-0 win over Burton Albion and welcomed the chance to rest his stars for the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.

Defending champions City's place in next month's final is all but secured even before the return leg of the last-four clash after Gabriel Jesus scored four goals in Wednesday's rout.

Kevin De Bruyne, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez also found the net on a miserable night for League One Burton.

Guardiola was proud to see his side continue to look for goals despite having the match wrapped up with four at half-time and is now looking forward to giving some members of his squad a break in their hectic schedule.

"We are in the final," the Spaniard told his post-match media conference. "Of course, we have to play the second game [and] we will take it seriously.

"Big congratulations to Burton for the tournament they have done, they have beaten teams from the Premier League and Championship, they deserve to be here.

"We scored the first goal quickly but the period between the first and second goal was not good, we didn't control our right side, they had a clear chance at 1-0.

"But the difference with Premier League teams is the quality of the players and the rhythm. When you have high intensity for 90 minutes they [drop] and that's why after the third and fourth goals it was easier.

"It was important to take advantage. We didn't expect to score so many goals but it is good because we are in the final, that's nice and to come back again means a lot for us.

"Every game is important, that is why we are satisfied to get back to Wembley."

He added: "Of course we will play some of the second team and players who don't play regularly [in the return leg], but in this incredible schedule we have a little bit of a break in that week to prepare for the other competitions."

Nigel Clough was proud of Burton's performance against the Premier League champions and urged his players not to get too disheartened and instead focus on their incredible run to the last four.

"I don't think we could've done too much more with the quality that is out there," he said. "They're professional. They never ease off. They don't just beat you, they annihilate you.

"We could do better with one or two but the gulf [in class] of the two teams is far too much to comprehend.

"We're talking about [Manchester] United, Arsenal and Chelsea bridging the gap … we've got no chance.

"We'll celebrate, it's not about tonight: it's about Burton Albion getting to the semi-final. We'll probably never be here again and that is how big this achievement is. A lot of clubs have never reached one."

Manchester City's comprehensive 9-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg victory over Burton Albion saw Pep Guardiola equal the biggest winning margin of his managerial career.

City dominated their League One opponents from start to finish on Wednesday and their place in next month's final appears a mere formality ahead of the second leg.

Brazil international Gabriel Jesus grabbed four goals for a rampant City, while Kevin De Bruyne, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker also got on the scoresheet.

Double figures looked a possibility in a second half that saw City have 80 per cent of possession and eight shots on target, but they had to settle for nine.

The win is Guardiola's second 9-0 as a manager, his first having been as Barcelona boss in 2011 when they thrashed L'Hospitalet in the Copa del Rey.

Burton consequently suffered the largest margin of defeat in an English cup semi-final and the heaviest loss in the EFL Cup for over 30 years.

One positive may be that they stopped City reaching 10, a feat Fulham were unable to manage against Liverpool in the competition in 1986.

Gabriel Jesus grabbed four goals as Manchester City all but secured their place in the EFL Cup final with a crushing 9-0 first-leg victory over Burton Albion on Wednesday.

The Premier League champions have now put 16 goals past lower-league opposition in the past four days, Pep Guardiola's men having thrashed Rotherham United 7-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Kevin De Bruyne's first headed goal in English football set the hosts on their way, with Jesus adding a quickfire double before Oleksandr Zinchenko fortuitously opened his City account.

Jesus took his tally to four either side of Phil Foden's tap-in, before Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez completed a miserable night for Burton's cup heroes.

It took City five minutes to unlock the Burton defence, David Silva's pinpoint pass picking out De Bruyne's run and the Belgium international made no mistake with his header.

Despite falling behind Burton rallied and Marcus Harness should have equalised in the 12th minute, but Saturday's hat-trick hero blazed Lucas Akins' cross over the bar.

City's control of proceedings was never under threat, though, and in the space of seven minutes the hosts were four goals ahead as Jesus and Zinchenko struck.

Having pounced on a loose ball after Leroy Sane's shot was saved by Bradley Collins, Jesus doubled his tally from Silva's pass – the striker taking his time before slotting it in off the post.

City's fourth was harsh on the visitors as Zinchenko's attempted cross looped over Collins, but there was no doubting the quality of Jesus' hat-trick goal as he converted Mahrez's cross to the back post.

Four minutes after replacing the impressive De Bruyne, Foden had his second Etihad goal in as many games, the youngster profiting after Jesus had been held up by Burton's defenders.

Jesus would not be denied a fourth moments later, though, as Sane beautifully controlled Mahrez's pass on his chest before finding the striker, who applied the finishing touch.

After setting up Walker for City's eighth, Mahrez completed Burton's misery with a goal of his own, the Algeria international poking the ball past Collins to round out a one-sided semi-final encounter.

 

What does it mean? Seventh final awaits City

City's 11th EFL Cup semi-final could not have started any better with Guardiola's side already planning for next month's showpiece, which would be their seventh appearance in the showpiece. For Burton boss Nigel Clough – who won the competition twice as a player – he will just hope the aggregate score does not bring further embarrassment in the second leg.

Joy for Jesus

After struggling in front of goal at times this season, Jesus was in fine form as Burton were easily brushed aside. His second treble at the Etihad Stadium means he has now scored 11 goals in his last seven starts for City in all competitions.

Harness rues missed opportunity

While it may not have stopped the City juggernaut, Harness' miss at 1-0 could have at least slowed the hosts down and brought a moment of celebration for the travelling Burton fans. As it was he cleared the crossbar and City ran riot afterwards.

What's next?

City's attention turns back to the Premier League title when they face Wolves on Monday, while two days earlier Burton will hope for more joy against Gillingham.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino talked up the significance of his side's 1-0 win over Chelsea in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

Harry Kane's first-half penalty at Wembley was enough for Spurs to take a narrow advantage halfway through the tie.

As Pochettino eyes his first trophy at the helm, he felt the first-leg win was a good step for his team.

"I think we were very competitive. I am so pleased. We played against one of the best teams in England, of course and in Europe, a team that have been building to win titles," he told a news conference.

"They have unbelievable players. I think to win this type of game is an amazing, huge experience for us, to be more mature. Of course, it's only half-time, it's a small advantage, 1-0, but we need to be competitive in the second leg.

"Of course, give credit to Chelsea. Because in the second half they pushed a lot, and made us play a little bit deeper.

"But of course I'm very happy because we were competitive and in the end, we won the game."

Kane dispatched a spot-kick for his 20th goal of the season, the penalty awarded with the help of the video assistant referee (VAR).

Pochettino, who questioned the use of the VAR, praised Kane's ability from the penalty spot.

"He was very calm, relaxed, quality and has confidence in himself. That is what you need," he said.

"That is his talent of course. Not only his practice, his talent as well."

Spurs are next in action at home to Manchester United on Sunday, with the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final on January 24.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri praised Callum Hudson-Odoi's maturity after the teenager's performance against Tottenham in the EFL Cup.

Maurizio Sarri accused English officials of not knowing how to use VAR after his team's 1-0 EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Tottenham, while Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is also not a fan of the system in its current guise.

Harry Kane gave Tottenham a slender advantage to take into the second leg at Stamford Bridge in two weeks' time after he dispatched a 26th-minute penalty.

The England captain was brought down by Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but only after the linesman had flagged for offside.

Referee consulted his video assistant, whose pictures showed Kane to be level with Cesar Azpilicueta, and proceeded to book Kepa and award the spot kick.

Sarri told Sky Sports that Chelsea's own images suggested the Tottenham striker was offside, although his main complaint concerned the early offside flag as he argued that stopped his defenders from retrieving the situation.

"I saw a few minutes ago the video from our camera. It was offside," said the former Napoli boss.

"Our camera was in line with Kane and it was offside. But it's not important.

"It was really important for the man [assistant referee] to follow the ball. It [the offside flag] did not help our defenders.

"I don't think English referees are ready to use the system

"If you are not sure with this system you have to follow the ball and then at the end of the action you have to decide. On this occasion, he stopped."

As such, Sarri is apprehensive over the proposed full-scale introduction of VAR in the Premier League from next season, having observed teething problems in his homeland.

"They have to study this system because in Italy the first period was very difficult," he added.

"It is very strange that in the Premier League they don't have the system and in the Carabao Cup there is the system."

Despite being the beneficiary of the game's major talking point, Pochettino sounded a similarly cautionary tone to Sarri – the ex-Espanyol boss having not enjoyed what he has seen from VAR in LaLiga.

"I don't like, I don't like," he told Sky Sports. "Today we get the benefit but watching another league like LaLiga, no one is happy.

"For me the benefit is nice but I am not happy doing it like this

"I prefer the technology but in a different way – being clear about how we are going to use.

"I am pro-technology, you cannot stop evolution. But waiting how we wait for the benefit like this…

"I think it is not clear how we use the rules. The photos we use, we have to be clear how we use them."

Pochettino added: "I am watching LaLiga every week and no one is happy – the big clubs or the small clubs. That is a good example for us.

"We still have six months to improve that system."

Danny Rose conceded Tottenham were made to work hard for their 1-0 EFL Cup semi-final win over Chelsea at Wembley.

Harry Kane's 26th-minute penalty gave Spurs a slender first-leg advantage in a game very much at odds with the resounding 3-1 Premier League win Mauricio Pochettino's side chalked up at Wembley three months ago.

"It was a lot different to the game we played in the league," England left-back Rose told Sky Sports. "I didn't play in that one, but it looked comfortable for the boys.

"Tonight was hard work. It was a great team performance, everyone dug in and I think we deserved it in the end.

"We tried to get the second but it was one of those games and Chelsea played really well. Now, we take the lead into the reverse fixture in a couple of weeks."

And Rose thinks the state of play could lead to a more open and expansive encounter at Stamford Bridge.

"There's going to be a bit more pressure on them to come out and attack us now, but we're one of the best counter-attacking teams in the league so we're looking forward to it," he added.

"We won't go there and try to protect the lead, we'll play our game."

 

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