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FA Cup final defeat will not serve as extra motivation for Man City, says Guardiola

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 May 2024

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Pep Guardiola will not need to take extra motivation from Manchester City’s FA Cup final loss to Manchester United.

City’s hopes of retaining their FA Cup crown, and securing a double for the 2023-24 season, were dashed at Wembley on Saturday, as United ran out 2-1 winners.

Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo scored the goals as United stunned their neighbours, who had finished 31 points clear of the Red Devils in the Premier League.

Jeremy Doku pulled one back late on but City became the first holders of the FA Cup to finish as runners-up in the following campaign since United in 2004-05, but Guardiola refuted the suggestion that his rivals’ triumph would serve as additional motivation for his squad ahead of next season.

Guardiola told BBC Sport: “We don’t play to beat United, we play for ourselves.”

City dominated possession against United, having 73.5 per cent of the ball, but Erik ten Hag’s team had more shots on target (five to four) and accumulated a higher expected goals figure (1.5 to 1.3).

When asked if he thought United were the better side, though, Guardiola said: “No.

“The second half we were there. United are always a transition team, they have been for 10, 20, 30 years.

“[In the ] first half we struggled a bit but second half we were better. In general it was a good performance for a final.”

Asked what he said to his players at full-time, Guardiola replied: “I congratulated all of them on another fantastic season.

“It went wrong. We lost the game – congratulations to United. It was a tight game, we conceded, but in the second half we changed our pace up front, we made a good effort.

“It can happen. Many things can happen – they scored two goals and we could not score more.”

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