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Guardiola understands Man City are more focused in FA Cup and Champions League

By Peter Hanson
Manchester City are set for last-four showdown with Arsenal

Newcastle, June 29: Pep Guardiola acknowledged his Manchester City side is bound to show more focus in their quest for FA Cup and Champions League glory after seeing the defence of their Premier League title officially ended.

City's 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Thursday saw Liverpool crowned champions but they were in fine form during a 2-0 victory at Newcastle United in Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final.

Kevin De Bruyne celebrated his 29th birthday by scoring a first-half penalty before Raheem Sterling put the finishing touch on a routine win after the break to book a last-four showdown with Arsenal.

It remains possible for City to complete an EFL Cup, FA Cup and Champions League treble this term, with Guardiola saying it is understandable his players' attentions are now on a return to Wembley as well as the last-16 return leg against Real Madrid in Europe's premier competition – a tie in which they lead 2-1.

"After the defeat in London against Chelsea, of course now in the Premier League we're struggling a little bit to focus," said Guardiola.

"We're playing for qualification to the Champions League, it's not done but we're close, we need two victories.

"But, of course, now the FA Cup and Champions League it's a little bit different for the fact we're playing at Wembley again, we were winners last season, we are in the semis again and that's so, so good. Then we prepare for the end of the season against Madrid."

On the game, Guardiola added: "First we are in the semi-final, it was not easy to attack against defenders so, so deep.

"It was a solid performance, we conceded few [chances]and we are happy to be going back to London to Wembley."

De Bruyne has become the designated penalty taker after City experienced a string of spot-kick woes this season.

The brilliant Belgium playmaker says it is a responsibility he is happy to shoulder.

"We had a few problems this year and I think the gaffer asked me to step up against Madrid," he said.

"I've scored a couple now. If I'm the taker now I will try. Obviously there will be a day I miss, you have to take your responsibility, it if it's in it's good."

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Story first published: Monday, June 29, 2020, 1:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 29, 2020
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