Pep Guardiola’s quadruple hopes are well and truly alive, just, after Manchester City fought back from two goals down against Swansea City in the FA Cup. Sergio Aguero clinched City’s place in the semi-final – of which they’ll play Brighton and Hove Albion – with a goal two minutes from time to complete a comeback against a fighting Swansea.
Already in the trophy room is the Carabao Cup while Manchester City will certainly fancy their chances in the Champions League after being drawn against Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals. Guardiola also finds his side just two points behind Liverpool in the Premier League title race with a game in hand, with the chance of landing four major trophies this season a real possibility.
Of course, Manchester City did need a little bit of luck to get past Swansea City on Saturday afternoon, but what Bernardo Silva and Co. did show was fight and determination. It’s not often that City find themselves a goal down, let alone two, and so it was a test of their character to fight back against a fluid Swansea.
Although there was certainly some luck for the Premier League side with replays showing Aguero being marginally offside for his winning goal. Harsh for Swansea City, given there was no VAR available for this tie, despite it being available for Wolves vs Manchester United later that day.
“I’m sorry it was offside,” said Guardiola. “I don’t understand why VAR is not used in this competition at this stage. Hopefully, next season this won’t happen.”
The decision not to have VAR available at all ties at this stage of the FA Cup was also questioned by Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer, “It is very wrong and very unfair. Swansea’s stadium could have been equipped for VAR, they were a Premier League team not long ago and they will feel hard done by tonight and rightly so.”
With no team to ever win the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League in a single season, Pep Guardiola praised his Manchester City side who are fighting on all fronts.
“The most incredible thing after what we achieved last season is in this stage we are fighting for everything,” said the Spaniard. “So, most important for the club – more than winning one title – is having the mentality to be there until the end and fight for the titles in this stage of the season.
“That’s important because for the future, for the new players and managers who are coming, they will learn from this group of players, and this group of people, that we never give up and fight for every single game and title until the end.”
Can Manchester City pull off a quadruple winning season?
With just eight games remaining in the Premier League, Manchester City find themselves just two points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and with an easier fixture list, you would fancy Sergio Aguero and Co. to retain their Premier League title. They have the better goal difference and look strong while Liverpool’s over-reliance on Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino could cost them after leading the race for most of the season.
Pep Guardiola will certainly fancy his chances against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League. Mauricio Pochettino’s side looked far from convincing despite eliminating Borussia Dortmund while the attacking threat that City pose is likely to cause too many problems – while they also have more experience at this stage in the competition which will certainly come in handy.
Defeat Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will face one of Ajax or Juventus – of which both are arguably winnable – before facing one of Barcelona, Liverpool, Porto or Manchester United in the final in Madrid, all of which are certainly winnable.
The Carabao Cup already in their trophy cabinet, all that remains is the FA Cup. Romantics will certainly argue the magic of the FA Cup, but Manchester City ought to be winning Brighton and Hove Albion, which will see them face one of Wolves or Watford in the final. Win that and they’ll lift their first FA Cup since 2011.
And while the stars are finally aligning for City fans, Guardiola says he will only think of a possible quadruple in April, which will paint a better picture of where they are.
“Ask me at the end of April [about quadruple] and I will answer you,” Guardiola told the club’s website. “I want to congratulate the players and staff for being here at this stage. I am already satisfied. I know for the people it will be a big failure if we don’t win three or four titles, so I’m sorry.”
Win a quadruple and this Manchester City team will go down as one of the greatest sides in European football, certainly in the Premier League era.
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