Guardiola hails incredible run

LIVERPOOL • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says the team's remarkable form over the last four months has been one of their greatest achievements after their quadruple bid remained intact following Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton.

City were far from their flowing best at Goodison Park after Guardiola made six changes from the side that cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals in midweek with a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest.

But goals in the final six minutes from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne booked City's place in the semi-finals for the fourth time in five seasons under the Spanish manager.

Everton did their best to halt the City bandwagon with a disciplined defensive display that drew praise from the opposing manager.

"It was a really tough game. We saw the commitment from Everton, how focused they were, they defended really aggressively," Guardiola said. "It was one of the toughest games we've played in the last four months."

He refuses to talk about City claiming an unprecedented clean sweep of trophies this season but with a two-week respite due to the international break, he has finally allowed himself some time to reflect on the fact that they look unstoppable.

His men have won 29 of their last 33 games in all competitions during the last four months, securing three draws and losing only once during the spell.

City are running away with the Premier League title thanks to a 14-point lead, face Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final next month and are up against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last eight.

It was no wonder Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti accepted that his side had been beaten by "the best team in the world".

"What we have done is more than remarkable. It's incredible," Guardiola said of his team's fine run. "One of the greatest achievements we have done together."

He attributed their success to their ability to adapt, especially given the fixture crunch which has them playing every three days. This, he said, was what "pleases me the most".

  • 88%

    Manchester City's win rate (29 wins in 33 games) in the past four months.

However, he warned his team against complacency, noting that they have not won anything and insisted that they will remain focused.

But for now, his immediate concern is that all of his players return from international duty ready to continue City's charge.

"Hopefully, the (Covid-19) bubbles are controlled. I'm looking forward to everyone coming back safe," he said.

City travel to Leicester City on April 3 after the international break.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2021, with the headline Guardiola hails incredible run. Subscribe