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FA Cup final: Guardiola says Manchester City are gunning for place in history books

Manchester City are massive favourites to see off Manchester United tomorrow

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola says the chance to make history and land back-to-back domestic doubles offers his Manchester City side extra motivation for tomorrow’s FA Cup final against Manchester United.

City head to Wembley for a repeat of last year’s final – a game they won 2-1 – with the chance of becoming the first English team to win both the league and FA Cup in successive seasons.

Guardiola’s men are overwhelming favourites to see off their neighbours and the Spaniard is ready to embrace the challenge.

He said: “If history gives us a chance to do something not done before, try it. Maybe [it will be] extra motivation for players. I didn’t speak about this specifically to the players. Playing for a win, a trophy, is enough.

“No teams have done four [league titles] in a row, none have done back-to-back doubles. That is because it is not easy.

“We are going to London to perform well, same routine, not forgotten, one year defend our crown until next season.

“Saturday we will go for it with all we have. If we lose I want it to be because they were better and not because we weren’t who we are.

“The players know it is the last game of the season, the last effort. I have been impressed with how good they have trained this week.”


Sympathy for Ten Hag

Guardiola goes into the game safe in his job but the same cannot be said for opposing manager Erik ten Hag with reports this week suggesting United are sizing up alternatives such as Kieran McKenna, Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino.

The former Barcelona boss has sympathy for Ten Hag and pointed to the club’s injury list as mitigation for their eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

He added: “In the big clubs like United or City, when you don’t win you are always in trouble. I have a huge respect for the job he’s done in the past and I agree when he says they have not had a full squad.

“They have had a lot of injuries, it’s the most important thing to think about. Players have to be fit otherwise you can’t use them. When that happens the manager suffers but I think they have a really good squad.

“They have the runners, the actions from some brilliant players they have up front.

“When Bruno Fernandes has the ball everything happens. His influence on that team is outstanding. His creativity is one of the best I have ever seen.”

Xavi today became the latest manager of a big European club to lose his job when he left Barcelona. In the last week alone, there have been vacancies created at Chelsea, Juventus and Milan.

Guardiola said: “We spoke today at breakfast [about manager sackings]. Normally players move a lot. 

“In our job you have to win otherwise you’re in a dangerous position. No matter [if you’re] new or old, you have to win, do a good job and be good with many things, otherwise it happens.”


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Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.