Pep Guardiola looked tired in his post match press conference for Quadruple chasing Manchester City following their FA Cup Semi-Final win against Brighton.Embed from Getty Images
Brighton had provided a challenge for under-par City throughout and Guardiola agreed that Chris Hughton’s side had challenged them at the start of each half.
He said: “For the first 10-15 minutes, yes. For the first 10 minutes of the second half, yes.
“After that we conceded one shot on target.”
But with City making it to the final of the FA Cup in a season which has had the dreaded ‘Q’ word crop up at regular intervals, he put up an unconvincing denial that City could win every trophy they were in for this season – the Quadruple.
“I will announce you something. It’s almost impossible to win the Quadruple – put that in your headlines!” said the Catalan whose team will remain in contention until at least April 17.
“To survive to that stage in all the competitions would be a miracle, but it’s nice to be there.”
Guardiola pointed out that despite both Liverpool and City’s exploits this season that neither club could now repeat last season’s Centurions feat – to achieve 100 points in the Premier League,
He did concede that City were in with a decent chance of the FA Cup now that they were through to the final.
“I’m happy to be in the final after winning two titles this season” said Pep who was counting this season’s Community Shield win over Chelsea at Wembley in August.
“Now we are in the final of another one and there are two competitions where we are there [or thereabouts]”.
Guardiola will have to rotate again as the physical toll on his players became more evident when Kyle Walker was substituted at half time.
Walker could have seen red for appearing to aim a headbutt at Brighton’s Iranian winger Alireza Jahanbaksh but Guardiola hooked the rash full back at half time.
Guardiola also used a classic Arsene Wenger tactic – “I didn’t see it” – claiming that Walker was injured instead after he was withdrawn for Danilo.
“He had problems in the back and hamstring. He couldn’t run.
“It’s incredible what these players have done so far but every game we lose players – that’s normal when you play a lot of games.” explained Guardiola.
Benjamin Mendy was also taken off early after a quiet return to action following a long injury layoff but Guardiola did have an update about star striker Sergio Aguero as City enter a tough period of the season.
“He’s much better,” said Guardiola. “He still hasn’t trained a single sessions with us.
“We will see tomorrow for Tuesday or Crystal Palace or another game.”