Pep Guardiola praised his Manchester City players for maintaining their quadruple hopes, after they edged past Brighton 1-0 in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
Gabriel Jesus’ goal was enough for City at Wembley, as they maintained their chances of winning all four competitions available to them this season. They have already won the Carabao Cup, will claim the Premier League if they win all their remaining games, and face Tottenham in the quarter-finals of the Champions League next week.
“It is always almost impossible to win the quadruple,” said Guardiola. “To still be surviving at this stage in all competitions is already a miracle, and it’s nice to be there.
“Normally when you achieve 100 points [last season], no one can repeat that, and the year after you have a tendency to be a bit more arrogant or presumptuous. But still we are there, it’s incredible what these players have done so far.”
It looked like it was going to be a relatively straightforward evening when Jesus scored after just four minutes, but Brighton put up a great fight at Wembley and pushed City all the way to the final whistle.
“It was tough because they defended incredibly well and they were well organised,” continued Guardiola.
“After that it was tough for many reasons but I’m happy to be in the final and still in all the competitions.”
One moment of controversy came in the first half as Kyle Walker appeared to push his forehead into the face of Brighton midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh.
VAR determined that the incident was only worthy of the yellow card that referee Anthony Taylor initially showed the City right-back, and Guardiola eventually withdrew Walker at half-time.
Guardiola, however, insists that he brought off the England international because he was suffering from an injury.
“I didn’t see it,” said Guardiola of the incident. “But he had problems in his back and hamstring and he couldn’t run.”
Attention for City now turns to the Champions League. They are back in north London on Tuesday night to face Tottenham in the first leg of their quarter-final.
After that is a trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, and the opportunity to climb back above Liverpool and go top of the table, although Jurgen Klopp’s side face Chelsea right afterwards.
Guardiola knows his side need to win all of their remaining games to guarantee the title, and he feels they must do exactly that to claim it.
“I know Liverpool are going to win all their games so to be champions we have to win all of ours,” he said.