Pep Guardiola was in a chipper mood as he previewed the FA Cup clash and gave a small look in to the mindset vs Atletico Madrid as they were drawn to face them in the quarter final of the UCL.
Let’s check out what he had to say-
“What can I say? They went through an incredibly tough group stage and then over 180 minutes against United they were better,” said Pep at his Friday press briefing.
“In Madrid they were fantastic, and again here (in Manchester). It’s a team that are what they are and they are able to avoid what you are.
“You try to impose your game, but sometimes it is difficult.
“Playing the second leg away is more complicated. But these are the best eight teams in Europe. All roads are difficult.”
“If Simeone likes not conceding goals, I like more than him,” said Pep.
“And I like counter attacking, like he does. I am sometimes not able to do things but both teams concede few goals and concede few chances.
“They defend deeper maybe, but some moments they press high. Against United in the first 20 minutes, United could not breathe.
“I saw the game against United in the second leg and the way they had tempo they can use the counter attack.
“They are doing that for many years - maybe one decade. They reached the final of the Champions League and but for one minute, they didn’t win it.
“They play to win and we play to win. We know it will be hard to impose our game because they are good at that.
“They compete to win titles. They had success and everyone knows what is their path. The players know what they have to do.
“That’s why they were incredibly consistent in the last year.
“We have to be clever, wait for the right moment. It doesn’t matter, we play another opponent in the quarter-final and it would be tough.
“We go to a nice stadium, incredible supporters and we play to reach the semi-final. hopefully they are worried to play us.
And the boss is refusing to look beyond Atleti, adding that the fact City could play either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the semi-final was immaterial.
“We have tough work to do with Atletico Madrid before we think of the next round,” he said. “I will not answer.”
On FA Cup Match
“We respect the FA Cup a lot, we know how difficult it will be away at Southampton. I trust my team a lot. We will try to do it.”
“If United did it [won the treble], another team can. When it happens, I think it will. It’s not easy, but you can do it. In September, October it’s more difficult. Two months left, yeah it can be done. But it happened once in a lifetime.
“What we’ve done the last years is remarkable. Being there, right now, of course we want to win/fight every game. We went out [of the Carabao Cup] on penalties. Football, it’s important the consistency to be there. It’s not easy to do it.”
“We do what we have done so far. Get in the six yard box and score a goal. Southampton will be different to Crystal Palace. Before, trying to be that they know every game is a final, Sunday, be ourselves...”
Pep had a lot more, including on Haaland. A great briefing as the next few weeks after the international break will be fast and roaring.
Let’s hope City can get a title or two!