Sunday, October 24, 2021

Guardiola lauds ´remarkable´ Man City after FA Cup quarter-final triumph

SoccerNews in FA Cup 20 Mar 2021

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City’s form over the past four months is one of the “greatest achievements” since he joined the club in 2016. 

City claimed a 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday to reach the FA Cup semi-finals for the third season in succession – the first time they have achieved the feat since between 1931-32 and 1933-34.

The result marked a new club record of 17 consecutive away matches unbeaten, breaking the record previously set between January and September in 1999. 

Since City’s defeat to Tottenham on November 21, they have won 29 of their 33 matches across all competitions, losing just once – to neighbours Manchester United in the Premier League earlier this month. 

And Guardiola attributed his side’s stunning form to their ability to adjust to different challenges. 

“We have to adapt; every game is different,” he told a media conference after the win at Goodison Park. “Managers know what they have to do.

“But when you win a lot of games like we have in the last four months, it’s because you can adapt. That pleases me the most. It’s not just tactics, it’s mental; being ready every game.

“What we have done is more than remarkable. It’s incredible. One of the greatest achievements we have done together.

“We haven’t won anything yet, so we will be focused and we will see how far we arrive in the competitions.

“In this period, playing every three days, with incredible commitment in every competition, I don’t have any words to express that.”

While City dominated proceedings against the Toffees – restricting the hosts to their lowest possession figure (26 per cent) in all competitions since March 2018 – they had to wait until the 84th minute to make the breakthrough. 

It came courtesy of Ilkay Gundogan’s 12th goal in all competitions since the turn of the year, which is more than any other Premier League player. 

Kevin De Bruye added a second six minutes later, and Guardiola was pleased with his side’s patience against dogged opponents.

“We knew how tough it would be; the FA Cup, away, against Everton,” he added. “They defend incredibly well and have pace with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

“Every throw is like a corner and they have big players, like [Yerry] Mina. These games need patience. We knew the team who scored would win the game.

“All the players were fantastic and Riyad [Mahrez] and Kevin in the last minutes could change the rhythm. We found the goal and we are in the semi-final.

“We knew it would be one of the toughest games we would face.”

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