Guardiola plays down talk of a quadruple
City’s second and third goals against Swansea might not have stood had VAR been in operation at the Liberty Stadium
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus celebrate with manager Pep Guardiola after the match against Swansea. Photograph: Reuters/Toby Melville
Pep Guardiola has shunned talk of Manchester City winning an unprecedented quadruple – at least until the end of April if they are still in the hunt for four trophies.
City fought back to claim an FA Cup semi-final spot with a controversial 3-2 win at Swansea on Saturday. The second and third goals might not have stood had VAR been in operation at the Liberty Stadium, with City awarded a dubious penalty before Sergio Aguero seemed to be in an offside position when heading home the winner.
But the Football Association ruled only Premier League grounds would use the system at the last-eight stage, a decision that Swansea labelled “strange” given that the club possesses the technology to accommodate VAR.
“Ask me at the end of April [about the quadruple] and I will answer you,” Guardiola told www.mancity.com.
“I know for the people it will be a big failure if we don’t win three or four titles, so I’m sorry. Now we are going to fight every game after the international break.”
City already have the Carabao Cup in the trophy cabinet, are battling Liverpool for the Premier League title and meet Tottenham next month in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
As well as the VAR controversy, the quarter-final tie was marred in the closing moments when a supporter ran on to the pitch from a stand housing home fans and jostled City substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko.
The fan was rugby tackled to the ground by a steward but the incident came on the back of recent similar pitch invasions at Arsenal and Birmingham.
South Wales Police announced after the game that three male youths remained in custody following two separate incidents for encroachment onto the pitch.
“It’s happened a few times lately, and it’s a worry because in the future we could have problems,” Guardiola said.“It’s not nice, but thankfully nothing happened this time.”
Previous two games
Swansea are 15th in the Sky Bet Championship, almost as close to the relegation places as the play-off positions, and had lost their previous two games to Norwich and West Brom.
Bersant Celina had become an internet figure of fun when he fell over taking a penalty at West Brom in midweek. The Kosovo international slipped as he attempted to do a “Panenka” and chip the ball into the goal, managing only to move it a couple of yards sideways.
However, Celina put Swansea 2-0 ahead against his former club with the sweetest of strikes just before the half-hour mark.
“I was happy to score and make up for the penalty miss in the week,” Celina said. “I think it has motivated me to deliver.
“It is no surprise to lose against such an amazing team, but when you go 2-0 up you start to believe that you are going to win. It is a hard defeat to take, but I hope we can use this performance to spur us on in the league.
“If we can play like this against Manchester City, I am sure we can do it against every team in the league.”