EPL

Man Utd thrashing Roma a warning to City, says Guardiola

By Sports Desk April 30, 2021

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester United's prolific form means Manchester City still cannot take Premier League glory for granted.

City need a maximum of five points to win their third title in four seasons and Guardiola's side could complete the job if they win at Crystal Palace on Saturday and second-placed United lose at home to rivals and reigning champions Liverpool a day later.

The City manager feels it would be foolish to be distracted by the looming finish line, however, particularly in light of United's 6-2 Europa League demolition of Roma on Thursday.

"Let me try to beat Crystal Palace. Don’t ask me what I'll feel [if I win the title] because I didn't experience it, it didn't happen," he told a pre-match news conference.

"I know you anticipate it, but the reality is yesterday we saw another example of which contender we are playing. United are an extraordinary team who arrived in the last two months in their best form all season.

"We need five points to be champions and tomorrow we have an incredible opportunity to make this step.

"If we win that game, we are going to think about what happens. Just in case it does happen, you can ask me about my feelings. But I cannot explain about my feelings in the future because I did not experience it."

Since a run of two wins from eight Premier League matches from the end of January to the beginning of March – a prolonged slump that allowed City to streak clear, United have been in imperious form.

A 2-0 derby win over City began a run of five consecutive top-flight wins, checked by last weekend's 0-0 draw at Leeds United.

Leeds recently beat a heavily rotated City line-up, something Guardiola is expected to repeat with a fully fit squad and the second leg of their Champions semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain on the horizon.

City came from behind in stirring fashion to win 2-1 in the French capital in midweek, aided by some half-time tactical tweaks by their manager.

However, Guardiola again insisted the credit should rest with his players – acknowledging relatively little squad upheaval over recent years as a virtue when negotiating this season's compacted schedule.

"In our period together, these five seasons, we are almost the same guys as the first Premier League we won," he said.

"I said many times all the managers at top clubs when you play every three days, we don’t have training. I'm a manager but I don't feel like on the pitch we can develop because have time.

"The only reason is the quality of the players that we have, who can understand what we are looking for and change some ideas immediately because they are intelligent.

"There are no more secrets. In one season you can be a successful, win something important, but to be consistent through the years there is just one secret - have quality players. Don't sell it on any aspects other than that.

"When you have a team like this you can sustain it for a longer time."

Even so, Guardiola believes fatigue might be a factor for a sixth successive game on the road – including Wembley visits for the FA Cup semi-finals and EFL Cup final over the past two weekends – against an opponent who have previously proved a tricky proposition.

"It is a lot of trips, a lot of travel, we are tired in many aspects," he added.

"The reality is Crystal Palace, a Roy Hodgson team. Every time we faced them we had a lot of problems to win the game."

Related items

  • Kane will cost a king's ransom! Redknapp warning to England captain's admirers Kane will cost a king's ransom! Redknapp warning to England captain's admirers

    Harry Kane will cost a premium for any club wanting to prise him away from Tottenham, according to former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

    England captain Kane is reportedly keen to end a career-long association with the north London club in order to pursue major honours.

    Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been linked to the 27-year-old, along with Paris Saint-Germain and his ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino.

    However, Redknapp knows first half what a tough negotiator Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is and he expects his old boss to extract top dollar.

    "It will not be easy. You are dealing with Daniel Levy and he's not easy to deal with," Redknapp told talkSPORT.

    "He is not going to go, 'Okay, Harry, I understand, off you go mate, we will sell you for cheap'.

    "He is going to cost a king's ransom, believe you me."

    Redknapp expressed surprise at Kane apparently agitating for a move, given his exulted status at Spurs.

    "I thought he would stay," he said. "His life is fantastic, he is the leader of the club, his family is here.

    "But I suppose he has got to the stage now where he has won all the individual accolades and now wants to get some trophies on the board."

    As such, Redknapp feels the Tottenham faithful should be understanding towards their talisman, who he thinks would be a transformative singing if he ends up at Old Trafford.

    "If they are sensible, they [the fans] will look at and think he deserves the opportunity to go and win a few trophies," he said.

    "I would be surprised if he went to Chelsea. If the fans have any sense, they would understand his situation.

    "If you want a guarantee to win trophies you go to Man City or Liverpool, but he could turn Man United into title winners. He is that good.

    "With his goals and everything he brings, they would be very close. Whoever gets him, he will improve them massively. He will be a great signing for somebody."

    Redknapp added: "He is a great lad, a great professional and an absolute gent to work with. He would be amazing to have at your football club."

  • Euros would be nice, but Greenwood eyeing Europa glory with United Euros would be nice, but Greenwood eyeing Europa glory with United

    Mason Greenwood is focused on Manchester United's bid for Europa League glory as his late season form continues to propel talk of an England recall for Euro 2020.

    The 19-year-old enjoyed a breakout season at Old Trafford last term, his 17 goals making it the joint most prolific season for a teenager in United's history – level with George Best (1965-66), Brian Kidd (1967-68) and Wayne Rooney (2004-05).

    He found the going somewhat tougher this time around and had five goals in 39 appearances across all competitions heading into the March international break, when he failed to make Gareth Southgate's squad.

    Since April 1, Greenwood has eight goals in 11 games, with six in seven in the Premier League making him the division's joint-top scorer alongside Burnley's Chris Wood during this period.

    United take on Fulham on Tuesday before closing their Premier League campaign at Wolves. All attention will then turn to the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk, when the Red Devils will seek to win a first major honour since lifting the same trophy four years ago.

    "To win something with United would be amazing," Greenwood told Sky Sports.

    "I want to do that. We are in a good position to do it. A good finish to the Premier League season and a win in the final would be nice. We need a bit of silverware, we have not had any for a few years, so to bring it back home would be a good feeling.

    "It would be nice to go to the Euros but I just want to be fully focused on United for these two games and the Europa League final.

    "What happens, happens. I have not really been thinking about it too much. I have just been going out there thinking about my performances for United, how to score and help the team score.

    "I have just been focusing on my football."

    Greenwood found himself under scrutiny for actions off the pitch earlier in the season when, after making their England debuts in Iceland, he and Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden were sent home for breaching coronavirus protocols.

    Ole Gunnar Solksjaer believes the United youngster has come through that episode a stronger person and, with Euro 2020 squads now expanded to 26 players, the clamour for Gareth Southgate to include Greenwood as a wildcard pick in attack is mounting.

    "I totally agree with him, I have come through it stronger," Greenwood said.

    "All of these little things make you into a better person, a better human being and a better footballer. It makes you learn a few things. It is like when you are playing, you learn from your mistakes. You either let it affect you or you push forward. Why not push forward?"

    Greenwood added: "The manager has been fully focused on me and he has helped me a lot. He speaks to all the lads a lot, individually and as a group. I am really pleased to have him there."

  • Rumour Has It: Kane wants exit amid Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea links, Allegri favourite for Madrid job Rumour Has It: Kane wants exit amid Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea links, Allegri favourite for Madrid job

    Where will Harry Kane play in 2021-22?

    The Tottenham star Kane reportedly wants out of his boyhood club.

    Premier League rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are ready to pounce…

     

    TOP STORY – KANE SEEKING SPURS DEPARTURE

    Harry Kane has told Tottenham he wants to leave the club in the off-season, according to widespread reports in England.

    Frustrated at a lack of silverware in London, Spurs star Kane would reportedly prefer to remain in the Premier League amid links to champions Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    Kane is believed to be open to a LaLiga switch, with Barcelona among his admirers.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - The front page of Diario AS claims former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane if the Frenchman leaves Real Madrid. Club great Raul, who is currently in charge of the Castilla team, is another option. It comes as Madrid push to bring in a franchise player in the form of Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, while Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich's David Alaba are also wanted amid links to Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga and United midfielder Paul Pogba.

    - The Sun says City are considering a mega move for Barca superstar Lionel Messi, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Messi is reportedly open to reuniting with Pep Guardiola in Manchester on a one-year deal.

    Barca are weighing up the futures of Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Antoine Griezmann and Sergi Roberto, reports Mundo Deportivo. Due to their financial situation, the players could be asked to take a pay cut as Lyon captain Memphis Depay prepares to arrive on a free transfer. City forward Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia, Haaland and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum have also been linked.

    - Lille's Jonathan Ikone is Dortmund's top priority as the Bundesliga club prepare for life without Jadon Sancho, according to France Football. Sancho has been tipped to join United or Liverpool, while Dortmund are also eyeing PSV sensation Donyell Malen, Ajax forward David Neres and Pedro Goncalves of Sporting CP.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.