Pep Guardiola lauds ‘incredible’ Man City star and admits they can ‘now talk about the treble’

Guardiola on Man City Credit: Alamy
Guardiola on Man City Credit: Alamy

Pep Guardiola admitted that Manchester City can “now talk about the treble” following their win over Man City in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Man City have dominated in the Premier League and Carabao Cup in recent years but the FA Cup has evaded them of late. Before this season, they had not lifted the historic trophy since the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

But Guardiola’s side were quickly on course to beat Man Utd in Saturday’s final at Wembley as they went in front after just 13 seconds.

The ball fell to Ilkay Gundogan following a long kick from Stefan Ortega and the midfielder volleyed the ball home past David De Gea in stunning fashion to make it 1-0.

Man Utd equalised around the half-hour mark as Bruno Fernandes scored from the penalty spot but a second volley from Gundogan after the interval earned City a deserved 2-1 win in the end.

The Premier League champions now have the chance to complete the treble next weekend when they battle Inter Milan in the Champions League final.

Speaking post-match, Guardiola reserved praise for Gundogan and John Stones, who is an “incredible player”.

“We can now talk about the treble. Of course, we still have to win the Champions League. We performed so well for our city and our fans,” Guardiola said on BBC One.

“They follow man to man so tight and we didn’t expect them to defend so narrowly. We found more spaces in the second half.

“Tomorrow and the next day they can have off. We’ve then got three or four sessions to train for Inter Milan. We’ll travel on Thursday morning after training.

“It was so important for us today. The FA Cup is so nice. I’m a Barcelona fan but I will love this club for the rest of my life. I know today we gave our fans a good gift to enjoy against our neighbours.”

On Gundogan: “What a season he has had. The skills are there but he also had the mentality. He plays the big games like they are friendlies, he can cope with the pressure.”

On John Stones: “Incredible player. He’s played so well lately and has given the opportunity to play in this certain way. All of the guys were amazing.

“Stones has the quality to pass the ball and he can arrive into the attacking positions to control the play.”

READ MORE: Gossip… Gundogan snubs Arsenal to sign contract elsewhere; Everton to bid £27m for England striker

Jack Grealish meanwhile thinks the “best thing” about this Man City team is that they “have a mix of everything”.

“Unbelievable. It’s stuff you dream of when you’re a little kid. I was desperate to win one at Villa and now I’ve done it,” Grealish said.

“I don’t even think it’s a penalty. I wasn’t even looking at it, I turned and it hit my arm but Gundogan saved me.

“The best thing about this team is we have a mix of everything. Everyone is confident, we’ve got older more experienced lads and the younger lads are learning too.

“We’ll have a good night tonight and then straight back at it on Sunday and Monday for a big game next week.”

READ MORE: FA Cup final combined XI… Man City dominate as Casemiro, De Gea, Bernardo Silva all miss out


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