ep Guardiola believes Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory can spur his Manchester City side on to a famous treble – and revealed the FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea which ended their quadruple hopes played a big part in his team selection.
City lifted the Carabao Cup for the fourth time season in a row as they beat Tottenham 1-0 at Wembley.
The scoreline hardly did justice to their dominance, with Aymeric Laporte’s second-half header finally breaking the deadlock after Guardiola’s men had wasted several glorious chances.
City now face a huge Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain as they look to win that competition for the first time, while Manchester United’s draw at Leeds yesterday means they are just two wins from sealing the Premier League title,” Guardiola said.
“We will rest and prepare for the semi-final first leg against PSG. After that, we are two games away from winning the most important title.
“The Premier League is the most important title, the one I am proud of the most. In this crazy schedule, between the games against PSG, we’ll try to win the first one against Crystal Palace.
“We won the first one, we are close to a second one and we go to Paris to try for another one.”
Despite that clash with PSG looming, Guardiola named something approaching his strongest available side, with the exception of cup goalkeeper Zack Steffen starting ahead of Ederson.
Earlier this month, the Spaniard had made eight changes to his lineup for the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, leaving the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez on the bench in a move which backfired as they were beaten 1-0.
“We cannot deny one eye is always in the Champions League,” Guardiola added. “We are in the semi-final for only the second time, always one eye on that.
“But once we arrived at the final, and after what happened against Chelsea, we thought the best way to arrive for it.
“People said you picked a strong team but I don’t believe that – the people on the bench could play perfectly. When I play finals my first thought is the guys on the bench.
“We take every game seriously, otherwise it is impossible to win four Carabao Cups in a row.”