Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola feels his side has lost some momentum in the Premier League, a circumstance he accepts. Pep Guardiola admitted that his side of Manchester City was expected to be more focused in their search for FA Cup and Champions League glory after they defended the Premier League title officially ended.
City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Thursday saw Liverpool crowned champions but they were in good shape during a 2-0 victory at Newcastle United in the quarter-final of the Sunday’s FA Cup.
By converting a penalty for the first half, Kevin De Bruyne celebrated his 29th birthday before Raheem Sterling put the finishing touch on a routine win after the break to book a last-four Arsenal showdown.
It remains possible for City to finish this term with a triple EFL Cup, FA Cup, and Champions League, with Guardiola claiming that it is understandable that his players’ attentions are now headed for Wembley as well as the last 16-second leg against Real Madrid in Europe’s elite competition – a game they are leading 2-1 in.
Guardiola told the BBC:”After London ‘s defeat against Chelsea, of course, we ‘re struggling to focus a little bit now in the Premier League. We ‘re playing to the Champions League for qualification, it’s not done but we’re close, we need two wins. However, of course, it’s a little different now for the FA Cup and Champions League as we’re playing again at Wembley, we’ve been champions every season, we ‘re back in the semis so that’s so, so nice. Then we’re preparing against Madrid for the season finale.”
Guardiola continued on the game: “It wasn’t easy to hit defenders so intensely at first we are in the semi-final. It’s been a success, we conceded a few [chances] and we’re glad to be back to Wembley in London.”
De Bruyne was the official penalty taker this season following a series of spot-kick woes that City has endured.
The young Belgian playmaker says he’s prepared to take on the load.
He said. This year we had a lot of issues and I think the gaffer asked me to step up against Madrid. I’ve scored a lot already. I’ll see whether I’m the taker already. Maybe there ‘s going to be a day I lose, you’ve got to take the duty, whether it’s nice in it.”