Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola took a dig at Arsenal on Monday by saying that he does not respect the Gunner for what they do off the pitch. His comments have come after Arsenal defeated City 2-1 in the semifinals of FA Cup 2019-20 last week.
“We didn’t play 90 minutes like the second half [of the FA Cup semifinal against Arsenal], that was the only regret. We wanted to play 90 minutes like the second half,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
“But after we were beaten, we shake hands. The opponents always deserve my respect and credit. And Arsenal, I have all respect for what they are on the pitch, not much off the pitch but on thr pitch, a lot,” he added.
Guardiola’s reaction is believed to have triggered by the role Arsenal played in the group of eight Premier League clubs wich had campaigned for City’s European ban. However, the ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) last week.
UEFA had earlier restricted City from participating in any European competition in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 season on the grounds that the club had broken their Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by overstating sponsorship revenue in their accounts.
The European governing body of football had also alleged that City had also exaggerated their sponsorship revenue in the break-even information submitted to them between 2012 and 2016. The Blues of Manchester were also accused of failing to co-operate with its investigation.
Meanwhile, in the FA Cup semifinal on Saturday last week, Manchester City dominated the ball possession and looked threatening inside Arsenal’s half as expected. But the disciplined defense set-up of Arsenal proved equal to the task.
It paid dividends to the Mikel Arteta’s team as they took City by a surprise with a clinical counter-attack. It resulted in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring in the 19th minute to put Arsenal ahead, much to everyone’s surprise.
Instead of the urgency that one expects from a team like City after conceding, the viewers watching the match were graced by an Arsenal team that looked far more in control after taking the lead.
City started the second half with a much clearer intent and looked hungry for an equaliser. But as the stars for the day conspired, Aubameyang proved detrimental to their cause again. He ran through and put the ball cleanly past Ederson to double Arsenal’s lead.