Tag: Manchester City

Guardiola says team must focus on UCL as Man City put one hand on title

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola insisted that the possibility of winning the Premier League title through a victory against Manchester United next week should not distract Manchester City from their Champions League quarter-final game at Liverpool.

City could be crowned champions in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday having maintained their 16-point lead over Jose Mourinho’s team with a 3-0 win at Everton.

However, Guardiola insisted that City’s Wednesday’s visit to Anfield is the priority despite their dream scenario, and that his strong team selection at Goodison Park was, Guardiola admitted, designed with Liverpool in mind.

“We were a long time without being together and I didn’t want to play with seven, eight or nine players who are going to play on Wednesday without four weeks playing together,” the former FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager said.

“We needed to play together to find our pace and our rhythm for two massive games against Liverpool. I understand people are going to talk about United but now all the decisions are about Liverpool. We have to focus on the Champions League, we have United in the middle but for the lineup we have to think about the Champions League.”

“We are closer than ever,” he added. “We have one game to win and, if we are not able to win [against United], we have six more chances. We are so, so close and I am so happy with the performance.”

City were outstanding in the first half at Goodison and had been given applause after the final whistle by Everton fans.

“Maybe that’s because we are going to play against Liverpool,” Guardiola joked at the thought of City facing the Toffees’ bitter neighbouring rivals.

“I didn’t know it but it is a great satisfaction that they give credit to what the players have done. First it is for our fans but if the people who love football enjoy how we play, then that is a great satisfaction. Last season I applauded them after the 4-0. This season they applauded us, so thank you very much.”

Pep Guardiola fined for “act of defiance” over yellow ribbon

The English FA has fined Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for wearing a yellow ribbon because he did so in an “act of defiance” despite warnings against it.

The FA wrote that it had sent Guardiola “numerous warning letters” in the explanation of the £20,000 fine against the Catalan native, and has also warned him about his future conduct.

Guardiola has accepted the FA charge of “wearing a political message” last week despite arguing that the symbol was “not about politicians, it’s about democracy” previously.

He also pledged to continue wearing the ribbon despite being charged for doing so last month.

The situation began when former Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona boss has said in November that he wore the ribbon to support imprisoned politicians in his native Catalonia, following a movement encouraging sympathisers with Catalan independence to display the yellow ribbon began in October.

Two key members of the Catalan independence movement — Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez — were held without bail after an independence vote in October, which the Spanish government deemed illegal.

The FA then spoke to the City boss about the situation in December and had previously issued two formal warnings.

Action was taken after he wore it at pitchside — he was free to wear it elsewhere — during City’s FA Cup fifth-round loss to League One side Wigan on 19 February.

Guardiola did not wear the ribbon during City’s Premier League match against Chelsea on Sunday, instead doing so during the news conference afterwards.

He also donned it during City’s most recent Champions League game against Basel as UEFA, European football’s governing body, has different rules on political symbols.

Pep Guardiola: defiant City boss keeps yellow ribbon despite charge

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been charged by the English Football Association for “wearing a political message, specifically a yellow ribbon”, but insisted he will keep wearing it even in the face of potential touchline bans.

Two key members of the Catalan independence movement were held without bail after an independence vote in October, which the Madrid government deemed illegal.

Guardiola said in November he wears the ribbon to support those imprisoned politicians in his native Catalonia, which FA determines to be in breach of their kit and advertising regulations.

The charge was then triggered when he again wore it pitchside — he is free to wear it elsewhere — during City’s shock FA Cup loss against Wigan on Monday.

However, the Catalan native proved defiant against the FA, in the wake of the charge leveled against him.

Guardiola continued to wear the ribbon at Wembley on Sunday as City won the League Cup final over Arsenal, and he said that, even if he was banned from the touchline by the FA, he would continue to do so.

“They [the FA] know I will wear it always,” he said. “I can wear it somewhere else. UEFA have another opinion. They say you can wear it as long as it’s with respect. Here [in England] it’s different apparently.”

“I have empathy for the people who have no freedom, those guys in Spain who are in jail. They haven’t been proven guilty. Anyone can be in that situation. Before being a football manager I am a human being and this is for humanity.”

“There are four guys in prison and other guys, they don’t have weapons, just votes in the ballot. I said this is always with me and it always will be until the last. I will accept whatever they [the FA] decide about my behaviour. It’s not a lack of respect, it’s being part of humanity.”