Despite a mistake that cost Manchester City a 3-2 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, manager Pep Guardiola lauded back-up goalkeeper Zack Steffen and said he should keep his job.
After Ibrahima Konate’s header put Liverpool ahead, Steffen’s blunder in the 17th minute allowed the Reds to score a second goal.
Guardiola remarked after the game, “It was an accident, but we need him to try because that’s how we play our football.”
“He deserves to play and after that he had a good game,” Guardiola said. “He made good saves and is an exceptional keeper.”
Steffen took too long when receiving a back pass from City defender John Stones. Liverpool forward Sadio Mane slid in to tackle the keeper and the ball flew into the net.
“We use our keeper to move our opponents into different situations. I’m pretty sure Zack didn’t want to do it,” Guardiola said.
“Sometimes the strikers miss in front of the keeper, other times the keeper makes a mistake.”
Guardiola made seven changes from the lineup that started in their Champions League game in midweek, with the City manager preferring to rest key players, including first-choice goalkeeper Ederson.
With seven games remaining, City leads the Premier League with 74 points, one point ahead of Liverpool.
On Wednesday, they face Brighton & Hove Albion in the league.