Football

Guardiola laments tough EPL, turns attention to Liverpool mission

Manchester City must rise from the disappointment of losing to bitter rivals Manchester United and turn their attention to a Champions League rescue mission against Liverpool on Wednesday morning (Singapore time).

City looked well on course to be crowned English Premier League champions in the Manchester Derby yesterday morning (Singapore time), as goals by captain Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Guendogan propelled them into a 2-0 half-time lead.

But United fought back to turn the game round in a 16-minute spell just after half-time as a Paul Pogba double and Chris Smalling's winner handed United a 3-2 win.

City manager Pep Guardiola said: "Congratulations to United. Now we will try, if we are brave enough, to stand up again and focus on Tuesday.

"My dream was that, as in the first half when we didn't concede anything, it would happen again in the second half," he said.

"But a good manager (Jose Mourinho) maybe said in the first half 'guys, we have to do something more'."

The Spaniard added that the derby defeat showed that winning the EPL isn't as easy as his team have made it look this season.

"We were not good enough in the end. The schedule is like this, that's why this competition is so tough," Guardiola said.

"In December, everybody said the EPL is done, but it was a tough fight to keep going every weekend to be focused.

ADVANTAGE

"Of course, we are sad for ourselves, for our fans - but we still have a 13-point advantage and goal difference.

"We have to win two more games and, after the game on Tuesday, we are going to focus on the EPL to try as quick as possible to get it."

With six games left, City can seal the EPL title if they beat Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday morning (Singapore time) and Swansea on April 22.

Turning his attention to the Champions League, Guardiola nsisted that a comeback is possible if City are clinical.

They need to overcome a 3-0 deficit in their quarter-final, second leg against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.

"It is the first time we lose two games in a row, first time in the season it has happened and now we have to recover, try again, come back to basics and win games," he said. - AFP, REUTERS

Football