Pep Guardiola was full of excuses after Wolves became the first team to prevent Man City from scoring inside 90 minutes since April.
Since then, Guardiola’s side have scored 57 goals in 17 matches but it still took 120 minutes and a penalty shootout for them to squeeze past their Championship opponents and into the fifth round of the Carabao Cup.
The reason for City’s dreary, goal-shy performance? Apparently, the official match ball just wasn’t up to scratch.
Grumbling after the match, Guardiola is quoted by Simon Peach of the Press Association as saying:
It (the ball) is not Nike, Adidas… it’s a different brand.
That ball is not a serious ball for a professional game. No weight. Nothing. It’s bad, bad.
In fairness to Pep, it was a different brand. The official match ball used by the EFL for the Carabao Cup is a Mitre Delta Hyperseam, an honest, ruddy-faced staple of English football since time immemorial (or the late 1980s, at least).
How dare he denigrate the Delta. These bloody foreigns, eh? They come over here, criticise our footballs.
Honestly, we’re getting subtle whiffs of Guardiola’s whinnying gripes about the length of Atletico Madrid’s grass after watching Bayern Munich lose 1-0 at the Vincente Calderon back in 2016.
Not a particularly good loser, is our Josep.