The Catalan coach gave a tongue-in-cheek response when discussing his team’s chances of regaining the Premier League crown
Pep Guardiola has issued a sarcastic title warning to his Manchester City stars, declaring “we are already champions”.
City opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table by beating defending champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, and they still have a game in hand to take in on all five teams currently sitting directly below them.
Guardiola is being tipped to deliver the domestic crown to Etihad Stadium for the third time come May, but the Spaniard isn’t getting carried away by his team’s current position.
What has Guardiola said?
With his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, Guardiola told a press conference: “Two or three months ago we were out of everything: we didn’t have any chance to be champions, to qualify for the Champions League yet now we are ready.
“We are ready, so maybe we shouldn’t play any more games in the Premier League because we are already champions.
“I don’t understand why we have to play against Tottenham and after against Everton? I don’t understand it because we are already champions.”
The City boss then switched to a more serious tone, adding: “I understand why people are talking about it but nothing is eternal, nothing is perfect. Just because we won in the past it doesn’t mean we are going to win in the future.
“We have to focus on the next game. Always in my career with my teams we have thought in this way and talked in this way and this is not an exception.”
Does Guardiola still see Liverpool as title contenders?
Liverpool slipped 10 points behind City in the standings after their humbling on Merseyside at the weekend, with it now being suggested that the Reds have fallen out of the title race and into the battle for a top-four finish.
Guardiola is not writing Jurgen Klopp’s team off just yet, though, having seen first-hand how quickly the Premier League landscape can change week on week.
“Liverpool remains one of the best teams I’ve seen in my life and were able to make an incredible run of 68 games at home unbeaten – destroying, winning by big margins, winning in the last minutes – for three seasons without one defeat,” he said.
“Then immediately, you don’t know why, three defeats in a row. Do you think it cannot happen with us? Of course it can happen.
“It can happen in one week and you can lose three or four games immediately after an unbeaten run.”
What’s next for Man City?
City’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple will continue when they take in a trip to Swansea in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday night.
Guardiola and his players will then look ahead to a Premier League meeting with Tottenham at the Etihad on Saturday, which comes four days before they are due at Goodison Park to face Everton.