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Guardiola Promises A ‘Stronger’ Man City Next Season

Pep Guardiola has backed Manchester City to bounce back from their FA Cup disappointment and secure a place in the top-four.

City crashed out in the semifinals 2-1 to Arsenal after extra time meaning that Guardiola will now end the season without a trophy for the first time in his managerial career.

The Catalan says his side must put the disappointment behind them with Manchester United coming up on Thursday where a defeat would see them drop out of the Champions League places.

“Congratulations to Arsenal and Chelsea for reaching the final. We will improve. Next season we will be stronger,” Guardiola told a news conference.

“We made a good cup competition with all the games away, We arrived here and created more chances than the opponent and hit the post and the finishing… it was a bit like what happened [in other matches] this season.

“The team does not need to do a lot of things [differently], we have some problems to score but we played like we want and that’s all. So in the end we are sad today, but tomorrow we have to stand up and finish the games we have still to play.

“We have a big game on Thursday and today we played like we should do and I have no regrets.”

City will have to wait on injury updates to David Silva and Sergio Aguero, who limped out of the action with knocks, while Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus wasn’t ready to make the substitutes’ bench as he continues his recovery from a broken foot.

“Aguero was dead from a kick,” Guardiola added. “I didn’t speak to the doctors. We will see tomorrow how they are.

“I don’t know what influence the injury of David had on the game. He told me he couldn’t keep playing. It would have been better to have him on the pitch but we will never know that.

“[Gabriel has had] one training session. I don’t know — we are going to see the next days how to prepare for United.”

City had led through Aguero’s 62nd-minute strike before Nacho Monreal equalised just nine minutes later. Yaya Toure and Fernandinho both hit the woodwork before Alexis Sanchez snatched the winner in injury time.

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But Guardiola felt City had a goal wrongly ruled out in the first half when Sterling scored from a Leroy Sane that was adjudged to have a drifted out of play.

“The linesman could not see that situation, in that situation, to see that ball you have to be in line and when you are five metres you cannot see. It’s impossible to see,” he added.

Jesus Navas says a victory in the Manchester derby would be the perfect way to get over the disappointment.

Navas says it’s vital that City now secure a top-four place and Champions League football for next season and that a victory over rivals Manchester United would go along way to securing that place.


“It’s very important for the players as well as the fans,” the Spaniard told reporters. “There is a lot at stake so we need to focus and try to get the three points to make our fans happy.

“We need to focus on the Premier League, and think about the next game. We have to keep playing until the end of the season, and our goal is to end up in the top four and make the next Champions League.”

Navas, who is out of contract at the end of the season, felt City deserved more from the game with Arsenal and were just missing a bit of fortune.

Yaya Toure hit the post and Fernandinho struck the crossbar while Raheem Sterling had a goal ruled out that replays seemed to suggest was an incorrect decision.

“We deserved more. We created chances and hit two posts, and at the end we created enough but were unlucky,” Navas added. “The team has played well, we created lots of chances but had no luck.

“It’s frustrating but we played really well in the first half and controlled the whole game. We had enough options to score more than once but again we couldn’t make it.”

Navas believes City were punished for a lack of ruthlessness and says they must improve if they are to challenge for silverware.

“We always create chances — we had more chances but they created two and scored both of them. That is the difference,” he said.


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