Pep Guardiola: Cup defeat by Liverpool has little impact on City’s league hopes
Pep Guardiola doesn’t think Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City will give the Merseysiders a psychological advantage in the title race.
City manager Guardiola believes Saturday’s thrilling clash at Wembley will only be relevant if the two clubs meet again in the Champions League final.
Liverpool won 3-2 at the National Stadium to keep their quadruple bid on track while ending City’s hopes of winning a treble.
Attention now turns back to the thrilling title race between the two clubs, with City a point clear at the top of the Premier League with seven games to go. Both remain alive in Europe as well and could meet again in next month’s final in Paris when City beat Real Madrid and Liverpool beat Villarreal in the semis.
Guardiola said: “There’s a chance we’ll play at the end of the season if both teams reach the Champions League final. Then I’ll watch what happens.
“The psychology now is we have seven Premier League games and we know exactly what we need to do to try and win the Premier League.
“We’re going game by game. We don’t have time (to go into the result). We have another game in four days, then Watford, then Madrid, then one more.”
City are next in action when they host Brighton on Wednesday.
Guardiola hopes playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who missed out at Wembley with foot and knee injuries respectively, are fit to return.
Kyle Walker was also absent due to an ankle problem as Guardiola made seven changes to the side that survived last Wednesday’s grueling Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid.
Guardiola said: “When you have the whole squad it’s easier to deal with. We need people to come back to face the situation.
“The players in the second half would say they are sad and tired, but how do they react then? This has been our team for a long time. It doesn’t matter how we fight, we do it.”
Left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is also determined for City to bounce back quickly.
The Ukrainian said: “The reaction from us in the second half is how we should react in such a situation. We can’t give up. We have to fight to the end.
“At this stage, every game is a final. It doesn’t matter what the competition is.
“We can be mentally tired but at that level you have to sort things out. We have a big squad, we have a lot of players who can play.
“We can’t apologize. All were ready to play. Everyone did everything and left everything on the pitch.
“We’re eliminated from this competition, but there are still two titles to fight for.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/pep-guardiola-cup-loss-to-liverpool-has-little-impact-on-citys-league-hopes-41562221.html Pep Guardiola: Cup defeat by Liverpool has little impact on City’s league hopes