Pep Guardiola insists Man City ready to play ‘best game’ in Champions League final against Chelsea

The Cityzens lost 2-1 to the Blues ahead of their meeting in the Champions League final this month

Ian Parker
Monday 10 May 2021 11:26
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Pep Guardiola shakes hands with Thomas Tuchel
Pep Guardiola shakes hands with Thomas Tuchel

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City will be “ready to compete” and eager to produce their “best game” when they meet Chelsea in the Champions League final at the end of the month.

City, who suffered a second loss to the Blues inside three weeks, missed an opportunity to clinch their third Premier League title under Guardiola on Saturday when Thomas Tuchel’s side rallied to win 2-1 after Sergio Aguero’s Panenka penalty miss at the Etihad Stadium.

Chelsea also grabbed the win at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final last month, with the Spanish tactician leaving out the likes of Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan on both occasions.

“I’m pretty sure for the final of the Champions League we’ll be ready to compete and play the best game we possibly can,” he said.

“Now the FA Cup and Carabao Cup are over, we have to focus on winning the Premier League. We still have to get the points - when we get the points, we will be champions.

“Until then, the champions are Liverpool. Still we are not. Since one or two months ago, people said it was already done. No, we still had to go to Leicester and win away, Aston Villa and win away, Crystal Palace and win away, so you have to do what you have to do, and we did it.

“So we have the position that we have and we’re going to try, in the next three games that we have, to win the Premier League and after, it depends on the day it happens, we’re going to prepare for the Champions League final.”

Rivals Manchester United ensured the wait for the title went on with their now customary recovery from conceding away from home, rallying for a 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could move to within four points before City play again as they navigate their fixture crunch with home games against Champions League-chasing Leicester and Liverpool on Tuesday and Thursday before Guardiola takes his side to Newcastle on Friday.

Asked if pressure could get to his side in such a scenario, Guardiola said: “I don’t know. We’re going (aiming) to win at Newcastle like we have done in all the seasons and all the games.

“I don’t know what the pressures are, we played to win the game, we’re going to Newcastle to win the game and, if not, after we’re going to try to win the game at Brighton. This is what we’re going to try to do.

“It’s still not over, you have to win the games and we’re going to try to do it in the next game against Newcastle. If this is pressure to win the title, this is the pressure I want, and we need this type of pressure to be a top side, a top squad.

“(Against Chelsea) we did our best to win, we had the chances, unfortunately it could not be possible for different reasons, and we’re going to prepare now, mentally, with one or two days off and after we’re going to focus, analyse Newcastle and try to win the game.”

PA

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