Pep Guardiola defends Benjamin Mendy over coronavirus breach insisting ‘many people have maybe done the same’
PEP GUARDIOLA defended Benjamin Mendy over his coronavirus breach and insisted 'many people have maybe done the same'.
The Manchester City left-back, 26, hosted a New Year's Eve party at his house despite the Covid outbreak within the club camp.
Mendy's bash — three days after his side’s clash with Everton was postponed due to the bug — was attended by at least three people outside his household.
The Frenchman said he, his girlfriend, his niece and nephew — who all live with him — attended.
But he admitted his girlfriend’s pal and her partner were also there, along with a chef.
During the party, Mendy tweeted a message at 11.23pm urging people to take caution. It read: “Happy New Year. Take care of you and yours.”
City said they were 'disappointed to learn of the transgression and will be conducting an internal investigation' – but despite the breach, Guardiola named him on the bench for the win at Chelsea.
Asked about his defender's antics, the Spaniard jumped to his side – and told his critics to look in the mirror before blasting Mendy.
Guardiola said: "He had good intentions with the heart that he has, but he has to understand some things. He invited two or three people on New Year's Eve, they all tested negative, but they were at his house.
"I would like to know how many people had five or six people at home on New Year’s Eve, I’m pretty sure many.
"Normally in society we judge the other one, it would be better if we judge ourselves.
"I’m pretty sure Benjamin will improve on that and next time he will be more careful."
Guardiola added: "He broke the rules, I’m not justifying it, he cannot do it.
"But don’t give lessons to the other ones, don’t put examples from the players for society. We all have to do what we have to do.
"Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don’t judge him too much, if we look at what we have done New Year's Eve, many, many people have maybe done the same.
He's a special guy for all of us and he has an incredible heart.
"It’s easy to judge others. If everyone put the demanding intentions on ourselves everyone would be better.
"We have to follow the rules [like everybody], I’ve said this to the players many times, the virus is here, but we know that the government have to say what we have to do."
Mendy remained an unused sub as he watched on at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne in a rampant first half did the damage before Callum Hudson-Odoi scored an injury-time consolation.
Speaking of Mendy being part of the matchday squad, Guardiola said: "He’s part of the group, he’s one of the good guys, he's beloved in our group, he was one of the most active players in the stands.
"He's a special guy for all of us and he has an incredible heart."
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