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  • Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has defended defender Benjamin Mendy for breaking Covid-19 rules to host a New Year's Eve party.
  • The Spaniard added that the public should not judge Mendy because many others would have "done the same."
  • "Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don't judge him too much," he said. "Maybe many people have done the same. It's easy to judge others."
  • City has opened an internal investigation into the incident.
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says the public should not judge one of his players who broke Covid-19 rules to host a New Year's Eve party because many people have "done the same."

According to The Sun, French defender Benjamin Mendy hosted a small party with his girlfriend, niece, and nephew - all of whom live with him - as well as two friends and a chef at his Cheshire home on December 31.

By inviting the friends, Mendy directly contravened local rules which prevent people from different households mixing indoors.

Mendy's home in Cheshire sits inside a Tier 4 area under England's multi-level restriction system. Tier 4 bans people from leaving home without a good reason, and the mixing of households.

The defender was an unused substitute in City's 3-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday night, after which Guardiola defended the Frenchman and his decision to include him in the squad.

"No, he's part of the group, he's one of the good guys," Guardiola told reporters when asked if he considered leaving Mendy out following his rule-breaking get-together. "It must be love in our group.

"He's a special guy for all of us, he has an incredible heart. I would like to see how many people judge him, if they have the good intentions he has.

"It would be better if, before we judge others, we judge ourselves. I'm not justifying that, he broke the rules. But don't give too many lessons to others.

"Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don't judge him too much. Maybe many people have done the same. It's easy to judge others."

Guardiola added: "Mendy knows he made a big mistake, but it finishes here."

City is now opening an investigation into the incident.

"The club is aware of a New Year's Eve Covid-19 breach involving Benjamin Mendy and the subsequent media reporting of it," a club spokesperson told Sky Sports.

"While it is understood that elements of this incident have been misinterpreted in the reports, and that the player has publicly apologized for his error, the club is disappointed to learn of the transgression and will be conducting an internal investigation."

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