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25 April 2021

Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City’s ‘incredible quality’ showed in cup final win against Spurs

25 April 2021

Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City more than deserved their latest Carabao Cup success.

Aymeric Laporte headed a late winner as City claimed the trophy for a fourth successive year with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at Wembley.

City thoroughly dominated the contest, racking up 21 attempts on goal to Spurs’ two in front of 2,000 of their own fans.

“We went out to play at an incredible level, with incredible quality,” said City boss Guardiola.

“I’m so delighted for the guys and, for the guys who didn’t play, the first thought is always for them. They deserved to play but unfortunately they couldn’t.

“It was the fourth time in a row. It was a nice competition – Arsenal, Man Utd away and Spurs to win it.

“It was more than well deserved and it was good for us to share it with our people. There was some good noise. We did it for them. They represented the people at home.”

It was a good day all round for City after Manchester United’s failure to beat Leeds earlier in the afternoon put them within two wins of reclaiming the Premier League crown.

They will now go into their Champions League semi-final against Paris St Germain on Wednesday in good heart.

Guardiola insisted he never had any thoughts of going easy in order to prioritise the other two competitions.

He said: “We cannot deny one eye is always in the Champions League but we take every game seriously, otherwise it is impossible to win four Carabao Cups in a row.

“We will rest and prepare for the semi-final first leg against PSG now. After that, we are two games away from winning the most important title, the Premier League, the one I am proud of the most.

“In this crazy schedule, between the games against PSG, we’ll try to win the first one against Crystal Palace.”

Guardiola felt the tone for a one-sided contest was set early on by Raheem Sterling, who looked determined to make a point after starting just three of City’s previous 10 games.

Guardiola said: “He was amazing. He showed us and showed the opponent that we came here to win the game.

“He was incredibly aggressive and that is not easy because the defenders are so fast and they are an incredible team. He was brilliant but I did not have any doubts about that.”

Guardiola was accompanied at the post-match press conference by Brian Kidd, the former City and United striker who has served on the club’s backroom staff for a number of years.

Kidd felt Guardiola, who has now won 30 trophies in his managerial career, deserved plenty of credit for how he prepared and set up the team.

Kidd said: “There is no complacency. Everybody is focused every day of the week and you can see the respect he gives it.

“He doesn’t treat it lightly. No matter who we are playing, the weakest team in the four leagues or the best team in the four leagues. He treats everyone with the same respect, and obviously it is the same with the players and the staff.”

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