Pep Guardiola was critical of the playing turf at League One Burton after his Manchester City side won 0-1 on Wednesday, securing a 10-0 aggregate scoreline to qualify for the Carabao Cup final.
Having won so emphatically in the first leg, Guardiola rested a number of key players, including Raheem Sterling and John Stones, while left back Benjamin Mendy made his comeback from injury with a cameo in the second half.
After the game, Guardiola said his side gave the game the respect it deserved in testing conditions.
He said, as quoted by Sky Sports: “The pitch was so dangerous, so slippery.
“We had a good game, we missed the last pass but Burton had two or three good chances and [Arijanet] Muric was outstanding.
“We are in the final. We started 9-0 up but I didn’t see a lack of desire. We played seriously and had no injuries.
“It’s important to be in the final, it’s not easy to get to back-to-back finals, it doesn’t matter which competition. Now we will prepare well and try to win.”
Young players Eric Garcia, Philippe Sandler, Ian Carlo Poveda-Campo and Phil Foden were all given starts and Guardiola was happy with how his fringe players dealt with the occasion.
“The young players were good, Poveda was so clever with the ball, and Sandler as well,” Guardiola added.
“[Felix] Nmecha in the second half was good. Kevin came back and played really good minutes, Sergio as well.
“Sandler’s future is quite good. He has a lot of quality. It was not easy to play today on this pitch but he has the vision to see good passes and he was clever.
“Both central defenders are so young and played really good.”