Guardiola makes ‘scared’ comment about Man Utd and admits he has ‘lost battle’ with ‘grumpy’ star

Matt Stead
Pep Guardiola reacts on the touchline

Pep Guardiola joked about Man Utd supporters fearing the prospect of Manchester City emulating their famous Treble after reaching the FA Cup final.

Manchester City reached only their second FA Cup final under Guardiola after three successive semi-final exits, beating Championship side Sheffield United 3-0 at Wembley.

Riyad Mahrez was the hat-trick hero, inspiring his side to a June 3 final against either Brighton or Man Utd, who play on Sunday.

It was potential opponents Man Utd who were one of the main subjects of the post-match press conference, with their 1999 Treble now firmly in Manchester City’s sights.

Guardiola’s side are five points behind Arsenal in the Premier League with two games in hand and a meeting against the Gunners on Wednesday at the Etihad, while Champions League holders Real Madrid await in the semi-final.

Manchester City are the favourites to win each competition, but Guardiola predictably downplayed that prospect after the Sheffield United victory.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates his second goal for Man City in the FA Cup final against Sheffield United

“They don’t have to be scared, we are neighbours, the neighbours are always nice to each other,” he said.

“We are far away, people cannot believe that we are far away with this kind of situation. It is OK for people to discuss it for a funny moment, but the reality is different. The reality is to come here and perform.

“For many years we are fighting for titles and still we are there. In one year you can win, two years, but six years, every year, of being there to win the title, the mentality of the club, not just the players, helps us to be here.

“It is an honour to be in the FA Cup final on 3 June.”

Guardiola also paid tribute to Mahrez, with whom he has not always had a positive player-manager relationship.

“He is always grumpy with me when he doesn’t play all the time, he makes me notice how grumpy he feels,” the Spaniard said.

“Today no. He is an exceptional player, a big stage player and has the mentality to score the goal. The composure for the penalty was important to go in after the first half at 1-0 and the second and third goal was brilliant.

“I am so satisfied with Riyad, he has given many, many things in these years and more in the future hopefully.

“We have known each other for many years, I know I have lost the battle to make him understand how important the group is. It is important when he plays at that level and when he does everything is fine.”