Football

Guardiola's gamble backfires

Pep Guardiola has refused to concede the English Premier League title to Chelsea, despite a disappointing 0-0 home draw with Stoke City which left them 10 points adrift of the league leaders.

The Manchester City manager gambled by resting John Stones, David Silva and Raheem Sterling yesterday morning (Singapore time), ahead of this weekend's FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough and next week's Champions League last-16 second-leg trip to Monaco.

"I have said before, we take it game by game," said Guardiola, of Chelsea's lead.

"The lead is 10 points and we now have one less game. We're going to see what happens in the next game and then take it game by game... You have to focus like that; not on big targets."

He also insisted that he had no regrets over his gamble to rest key players.

"We have the FA Cup game... Then we travel to Monaco, then we have Liverpool," said Guardiola.

"When you have one game a week, you can play with 11 players, no problems. If not, you have to make a rotation and it makes it so difficult." - AFP

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