Manchester City’s home match against Chelsea on Saturday will be a test for the Champions League final, but coach Pep Guardiola says the only thing that concerns him is to win the Premier League title only.
City needs 3 points to guarantee the third title in 4 years, but the Chelsea match increased its value because they will meet again in the Champions League final in Istanbul.
Saturday’s match will be subject to great analysis and review to see what things will be like in the Champions League final, but Guardiola says that he and his Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel are not concerned with these matters.
“At the moment we are not thinking at all about the final, because we have not put our hands on the Premier League title yet,” Guardiola – whose team has won 22 of the last 26 league games, after the start of a shaky season – told reporters.
Just one thing on Pep’s mind at this moment! ?
? # City
Manchester City (@Cityarabia) May 7, 2021
“When we finish the Premier League, the focus will be on the Champions League final and everything related to it, but I am very careful. As long as we have not won the Premier League, there is no need to talk about the Champions League. My team still needs points.”
City contracted with Guardiola to make him the champion of Europe, and although he is within a distance of one victory from achieving this dream, the Spanish coach said that winning the Premier League title is the criterion by which he evaluates his team.
“I have repeatedly said that the Premier League title is the most important one; the Champions League has a special taste, but the Premier League needs stability in level and other things,” he said.
Guardiola praised his counterpart in Chelsea Tochel, former Paris Saint-Germain coach.
“I have great respect for Thomas Tuchel; he led Mainz, Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, and now he’s here. We always enjoy the teams he coaches, I haven’t worked with him but I’m not surprised, and he deserves a lot of praise for what he’s done so far.”
Tuchel demands his players remain steadfast
For his part, Tuchel said on Friday that his team cannot continue the euphoria of celebrating the Champions League and FA Cup Final, and he should focus on winning the two titles through his recent development.
The London team is seeking to achieve a good result against City to enhance its chances of finishing the season in the league’s semi-finals, and will play the FA Cup final against Leicester City later this month.
Got it. https://t.co/81jhUIgDfC pic.twitter.com/9O4HgWrONs
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 7, 2021
Tuchel, who had left a prominent mark since the succession of Frank Lampard, called on his players not to be complacent.
“We must be humble, because reaching the final does not mean that we have won anything. We do not want to be satisfied with participating, but rather we want to win, and this club aspires to win the finals and matches, which is our goal,” he said at a press conference.
“If we maintain the enthusiasm and the hard work, and this is what we must do with the focus, then we hope to get a reward,” he added.
Chelsea beat City in the FA Cup semi-finals last month, but Tochel does not expect the outcome of Saturday’s clash – when Guardiola’s team wants to win the League title – any impact in the Champions League final.
Tuchel said, “The odds of being crowned if they win against us will not diminish our resolve. They got a more day off and did not have to travel like us, and this gives them some advantage.”
He continued, “We realized that these days may be crucial when we arrived at Wembley in the semi-finals because we had a more rest day than they did, but we must adapt. The Istanbul final is an exceptional opportunity, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s match.”