Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola decided to put all their crucial players on the bench which is worth 500 million pounds against one of the most expensive squad in the world, Chelsea.
Manchester City lifted their three consecutive English Premier League title on Sunday, 21st of May, after receiving a Guard of Honor from Chelsea players.
The current Premier League champions locked horns against the Blues at the Etihad Stadium, and Man City head coach, Pep Guardiola surprisingly beached their major players which reportedly worth £500 million.
Both clubs have invested a lot in their players this season, while Guardiola’s team found themselves at the top of the Premier League standings, Chelsea end their 2022/2023 campaign below the top 10 spots.
Man City played with their team B after finalizing their Premier League title for the seventh time in the club’s history.
The Etihad team took the lead against Frank Lampard‘s men with a goal from Julian Alvarez.
Before the match, Guardiola made a staggering nine changes to the team that handed Real Madrid a defeat at home in the UEFA Champions League last week, with only Kyle Walker and Manuel Akanji keeping their place in the starting XI.
That meant there was a plethora of talent waiting in the wings, the likes of which would have been immediately inserted into the starting lineup by practically any Premier League club.
The crucial players of Man City Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, and Ilkay Gundogan were left on the bench against Chelsea.
Notably, the second-choice goalkeeper Stefan Ortega got his first appearance of the season while regular starter Ederson found himself on the bench.
However, the 500 million pounds worth of bench would find themselves starting again in the UEFA Champions League final on the 10th of June against Inter Milan.
Jack Grealish, the highest-valued player on the bench, set a new record for an English player transfer in 2021 and has more than justified his expensive price tag with a stellar second season in Manchester.
Erling Haaland, who was signed by City for £51 million from Borussia Dortmund last summer, is a close friend of the former Aston Villa star, who was spotted deep in conversation with him on the bench while Chelsea were struggling on the pitch.
Rodri, a Spanish midfielder who joined the club for a then-record £63 million in 2021, was also benched alongside fellow midfielders Bernardo Silva (£43 million) and Ilkay Gundogan (£21 million).
Kevin De Bruyne, one of the club’s superstars who came on during the 1-0 triumph, cost City £54 million when he was acquired in August 2015, a sum that, like those connected to many of the renowned players, now seems eye-popping low.
Stones (£47.5m) was also benched, as were goalkeeper Ederson (£34.7m), midfielder Bernardo Silva (£43m), and Portuguese defender Ruben Dias (£65m).
Below is the list of Man City’s £500 million bench against Chelsea;
Ederson: £35 million.
Ruben Dias: £62 million.
Jone Stones: £47.5 million.
IIkay Gundogan: £20 million.
Erling Haaland: £52 million.
Jack Grealish: £100 million.
Rodri: £62.8 million.
Kevin De Bruyne: £55 million.
Bernardo Silva: £43 million.
On the other hand, fans crowded the pitch shortly after the final home game of the season ended, delaying Guardiola’s players from hoisting the Premier League trophy until later on Sunday afternoon.
Guardiola is likely to make more modifications to his starting XI in City’s final two matches, against Brentford and Brighton, in order to manage his players’ match fitness ahead of their post-season campaign.
What’s next for Manchester City?
The season’s goal for Manchester City is to finish with a treble. City have waited a long time to claim their Champions League trophy.
Pep Guardiola’s strategy of resting his most important players by not starting them on Sunday against Chelsea is nothing new.
Man City will be more focused on their remaining finals. The Premier League champions will battle their local rival Manchester United in the FA Cup final on the 3rd of June at Wembley Stadium before heading to Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Turkey on Saturday 10th of June.