Pep Guardiola’s hunger for titles remains unabated despite lifting the Carabao Cup after thumping Arsenal 3-0 in the final on Sunday as the Manchester City manager shifted his focus to the Premier League in the aftermath of his side’s triumph at Wembley.
“It is important to win this trophy because our supporters are so happy,” Guardiola, who lifted his first trophy since becoming City manager in 2016, was quoted as saying by the club website.
Striker Sergio Aguero gave City the lead early on after some comical defending from Gunners centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, before second-half goals from captain Vincent Kompany and David Silva ensure the trophy was heading to Manchester.
When asked about his assessment of the Sky Blues’ performance, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager responded, “The first half was not good – too many mistakes with simple passes – but the second half we played with more courage, more personality. That is why we were outstanding after the break”.
City’s quest for a quadruple went up in smoke last week as League One side Wigan dumped them out of the FA Cup and Guardiola was thrilled by his side’s response as they remained on course for an impressive treble (Premier League, Carabao Cup and UEFA Champions League).
“It was so important we won this after going out of the FA Cup. It’s a pity because we played 45 minutes against Wigan with 10 against 11 and we played good, but unfortunately couldn’t go through,” the 47-year-old stated.
With the Sky Blues an considerable 12 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United, having played a game less than their derby rivals, the Sky Bleus are a lock to lift the Premier League title this season.
They will renew their rivalry with Arsenal on Thursday as the two sides clash at the Emirates for their game in hand and the big-spending Sky Blues are widely tipped to seal the league title well before May.
“Now we have to focus absolutely on the Premier League and trying to win the games we need to win the title and try and progress to the Champions League quarter-final. This win is not for me, it’s for Manchester City,” the Catalan tactician added.
City are effectively through to the UEFA Champions League quarters as they thrashed Swiss outfit FC Basel 4-0 in the first leg at St. Jakob-Park. The second leg takes place at the Etihad Stadium on March 7 and the Sky Blues have emerged as the contenders to lift the continental competition for the first time in their history with a series of imperious displays in Europe this season.