Pep Guardiola appeared to suggest Manchester City “cannot win” the Premier League title this season, but he later explained his focus was simply on the team’s performances for now.
City remain five points behind leaders Arsenal following a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in a dramatic derby on Saturday.
That loss followed City’s EFL Cup elimination against Southampton in midweek, after which Guardiola outlined a need for his team to “recover who you are”.
“The last thing I’m worried about is titles, these kind of things,” he said ahead of facing United, and Guardiola seemingly accepted defeat in City’s pursuit of Arsenal after the match.
“I don’t care about the Premier League and the Carabao Cup,” he told BT Sport. “We cannot win. We won a lot, so it’s not a problem.”
But the Catalan coach was asked about these comments in his news conference and recognised he does still care about the Premier League title.
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 14, 2023
“Come on, of course I care who wins the Premier League,” he replied. “But right now, after Southampton, if we don’t win, we don’t win.
“We’re not going to win the next 25 years everything. We fight, because we saw today we’re going to fight and play to win, but sometimes football is like that. You don’t win.
“The manager, Erik [ten Hag], or the people say how good [United] are, and they deserve it, of course. Everyone has his point of view.
“We want to try, but number one is behaving in this way. Afterwards, sometimes it happens, sometimes not. What I know is all the time what we have to do is be better and better and better to win in this league.
“We lost the Carabao Cup three days ago; we lost it. But it’s not about losing the Carabao Cup, it’s the way we lose the game. This is why I was sad, really, really sad.”
Arsenal will move eight points clear of the champions if they beat Tottenham on Sunday, while United are now just a point behind their rivals in third.
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