Pep Guardiola responds to Liverpool fans' conspiracy theory

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed claims he ordered the grass to be grown longer at the Etihad Stadium ahead of last week's 2-1 win over Liverpool which reignited the Premier League title race.

Current holders Manchester City go into the tie after a crushing 7-0 victory in the third round of the FA Cup against Rotherham on Sunday.

Guardiola said: "I'm not the green keeper!"

'Against Rotherham we played with nine players who didn't play against Liverpool and the nine were a good selection'.

And although he received a Premier League winners' medal after making the required five appearances in City's incredible 100 points campaign last term, Diaz only played a total of 15 senior games and has now sealed a dream move back to Spain with Real. "Sometimes I'm really unfair with many, many players and when I made a decision to play him against Southampton he did really well and that's why he played against Liverpool".

William and Kate join Queen for Sandringham church service
The Duchess of Cambridge, wearing a blue coat and hat, was given flowers by onlookers after the couple left the church. The Queen usually stays in her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, 100 miles north of London, over the winter holidays.

Guardiola has faced criticism for not handing enough opportunities to young players such as Sancho, Diaz and Phil Foden, who is also yet to be given a start in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola has defended Manchester City's youth record after academy product Brahim Diaz left for Real Madrid in a £21 million deal. Every team has to be top with huge players.

"And after they come back and at the end it is not about being generous or more kind, they have to show on the grass, on the pitch". We want to cut the field all the time for 10 years, so it's better conditions for both teams.

"Playing against the best players in the world is what you dream about as a kid and we are all buzzing as we have nothing to lose and can just go out and enjoy it".

"We spoke with him yesterday and told him to play at full intensity 65-70 minutes for his rhythm and his injury", the Catalan continued. Benjamin Mendy, who has been out for two months with a knee injury, could be fit to return to first-team training in the next two-to-three weeks. "I trust the groundsman, I never made a phone call to say do damage to our opponents".