Man City was defeated by the Gunners in the FA Cup semifinal a few days after the Champions League ban was lifted for two years.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola pointed to Arsenal saying he has a lot of respect for the team on the field but not much for the club.
His former assistant Mikel Arteta planned a 2-0 victory over his team in the FA Cup semi-final when City suffered its first National Cup loss in more than two and a half years.
Guardiola congratulated the Gunners on their success on the field after admitting that their team’s performance in the first half was not good enough.
“We didn’t play the first half against Arsenal like the second, that was the only regret. We wanted to play 90 minutes as the second half, “he said at a press conference.
“But, after we were hit, we shook hands. Opponents always deserve my respect and credit. And Arsenal, I have all the respect for what they are on the field, not much off the field, but a lot on the field. Congratulations to them and good luck in the final. “
Guardiola did not explain why he does not respect the Gunners, but they are believed to be part of the Premier League club group that wrote to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) asking them to reject any attempt by the City to delay a League ban. of Champions for two years.
Furthermore, a newspaper report claims that Arsenal was the driving force behind the movement before City was eliminated from breaches of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play.
Saturday’s loss to Arsenal shifts the whole focus to the Champions League round of 16 against Real Madrid, and the Premier League final games against Watford and Norwich have no impact on their guaranteed second place finish.
City leads 2-1 from the first leg in Spain and Guardiola says his team will have to improve their FA Cup defeat if they beat the new La Liga champions to reach the end-of-season tournament in Portugal.
“Against Madrid we know that we have to make good games, all the cups are a game and we performed well but [against Arsenal] we weren’t good enough, that’s all. It can happen and move forward, it is forgotten, ”she said.
“The next time we play at Arsenal next season we will see what we can do to play better and we are incredibly excited and incredibly optimistic about the game against Madrid for the players we have.”
“We know that if we play at a decent level, higher than what we played against Arsenal, we will have our chance.” If not, we will leave.
Guardiola will not give his players free time despite having a free weekend before Real Madrid’s draw on August 7.
Zinedine Zidane has allowed his team a short break after they lifted the Spanish title to “disconnect a bit from football”, but City will not follow suit.
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“We will have two days [off] after Watford but after Watford we will have two weeks of training sessions, ”he said.
“We are going to make some changes in the last two games. I will try to let everyone play. I am very excited to prepare for the Real Madrid game and for next season.
“When I lose this emotion and fire in me after victory and defeat, it will be a problem.”