Pep Guardiola says key to Man City’s bid for trophies is avoiding mistakes

Carl Markham, PA
·3-min read

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists his side are far from perfect and the key to success in what remains of the season will be avoiding making mistakes.

The 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Everton kept them on course for a quadruple.

But despite rattling off 25 victories in the last 26 matches – and winning 37 and losing just three of 46 all season – Guardiola is wary of how one slip can be hugely significant.

Such is their domestic dominance City need a maximum of 14 points from the last 24 available to regain their Premier League title, while they are two wins away from lifting the FA Cup and are also in the Carabao Cup final next month against a fading Tottenham side.

Asked whether his side have any weaknesses he replied: “Many. I know my team. I know perfectly. Saying that, there are more positives than negatives.

“We’re going to enjoy our families or play internationals and then we come back and there are two months until the end of the season and every game is closer to winning titles – but still there are many many games.

“I’m thinking, Leicester (who beat City 5-1 at the Etihad), how strong they are. And after that the Champions League and after Leeds – and Leeds is the worst opponent we can play between the Champions League ties. The worst.

“We have a 14-point advantage and have played one game more (than Manchester United) so maybe it is 11. Still, we have to win four or five PL games and in knockout games everything can happen.

“But the spirit and the commitment is fantastic, that’s why we achieved what we achieved.

“Don’t make mistakes and the moment will come – maybe in the 90th minute – but don’t do what happened with the first goal against United (their only defeat since November).”

Manchester City v Manchester United – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Bruno Fernandes fired home a penalty after Gabriel Jesus fouled Anthony Martial in the opening minute of United’s 2-0 derby win over Man City at the Etihad.

The Champions League looks like being City’s biggest challenge as they face Borussia Dortmund in the last eight with the winners of Bayern Munich, the holders, and Paris St Germain, last season’s beaten finalists, waiting in the semis.

“In these kind of games it is so important, it is (like) a final. You can lose in the Premier League but this is a final,” Guardiola added.

“If you cannot maintain that level, they bite you and you don’t win. Coming at the end of the season there will be more games like (Everton) than other ones.

“You have to learn and know exactly what you have to do. We didn’t make mistakes. This is the key point to go through in these kind of games.

“You have to handle this and this is the game we are going to play in the semi-final of the FA Cup, against Dortmund, the final against Tottenham. This is going to happen.”