Fernandinho hits back at Pep Guardiola complaints over busy fixture list

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Guardiola's men bounced back on Tuesday after dropping points at Crystal Palace, beating Watford 3-1 in a dominant performance.

The victory saw the runaway Premier League leaders get back into their stride after their record-breaking 18-game winning run ended with a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

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Jose Mourinho's Reds are sitting third in the league after a woeful month of December that has seen them without a win in four games. Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who was stretchered off at Palace after a horrific challenge, was fit to start while Sergio Aguero replaced the injured Gabriel Jesus in the centre-forward role.

Replays showed the striker may have been offside when he scored, and a few minutes later he was incorrectly ruled offside when he was played in on goal. They don't protect the players, they are the people we come to watch - not the managers or the press conferences.

'This is not basketball, it's not tennis - players need recovery.

"A giggle at Puncheon's foul as I knew it wasn't the type to cause serious injury".

"Players who may excel in two or three years' time do not seem to be of interest as he rarely hangs around at a club to reap the benefits of their progress". "That's why I will rotate the team because, if not, many players will go out".

Aguero also said "everything's fine" when asked about his relationship with Guardiola.

David Silva is likely to return to the squad after a few days off for personal reasons and John Stones and Fabian Delph are once again available for selection. I don't think anything is going to happen because the tradition is the tradition but just think a little bit about the players, please.

"We missed the last action but it is normal in a period of a lot of games, in the period where we are". He's free to stay or leave, it depends. It doesn't matter if we drop a lot of points, I'd never push him.

He said: "Family is most important".

"We will have internal meetings and see what is for the best, but he is an Arsenal player and I think he will be [after January]". He said, "The truth is I'm very happy here but, as always, as I said before, the club has the last word".

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