Wednesday, May 29, 2024

´The serve to win Wimbledon´ – Guardiola admits Man City pressure heading into final day

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 May 2024

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City will feel pressure similar to “the serve to win Wimbledon” when they look to secure the Premier League title on the final day of the season.

The Citizens took a giant stride towards clinching a record-breaking fourth successive top-flight crown with a 2-0 win over Tottenham on Tuesday.

Erling Haaland struck twice in the second half as City leapfrogged Arsenal to top spot, while moving two points clear of the Gunners with one match remaining.

Guardiola’s side, who welcome West Ham to the Etihad Stadium on the final day, are red-hot favourites to seal the deal with a victory, with Opta predicting they have an 84.3 per cent chance of winning the league now.

But the Spaniard admits it is not a foregone conclusion and will not be plain sailing, and highlighted similar memorable examples of where City have had to really dig deep to get over the line.

“The tennis players say ‘the serve to win Wimbledon’, the last game is the most difficult one,” he told BBC Sport. “We know what we’re playing for. The tension is there.”

“[The players] were playing for the consequences of the result [in the first half against Tottenham],” he told reporters in his news conference. “When you do that, you are going to lose the Premier League. You cannot perform to your level. They are human beings, I understand the pressure.

“Not even Arsenal played well against Manchester United [the Gunners’ 1-0 win at Old Trafford]. They knew if they did not win there, they would not win the Premier League. It will be the same on Sunday for us against West Ham.

“We will feel the pressure. Look at Aston Villa a few seasons ago, 2-0 down with 15 minutes to go. Sergio Aguero against QPR, went to 93 minutes. It is normal. That is why we talk and say everyone has to relax, and do what they have to do. That is all.”

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