Manchester City’s quadruple hopes were cut short to a treble after Chelsea defeated Pep Guardiola’s side 1-0 in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley. Thomas Tuchel’s side earned a deserved win after Hakim Ziyech’s goal in the second half saw them reach the FA Cup final for the fourth time in last five seasons.
Chelsea were the better team for most parts of the game as City struggled to gain a foothold in the contest. Pep Guardiola made eight changes to the side that defeated Borussia Dortmund to reach the Champions League semifinal, as Raheem Sterling, Ferran Torres and Zack Steffen started the game.
Speaking to reporters after the game Pep Guardiola credited Chelsea for their win, but felt frustrated after a reporter questioned his team selection for the game. Asked if he paid enough attention to the FA Cup, Guardiola said, “What could I say? When you have two-and-a-half days to recover and you have to play away and travel for longer than three hours, everyone deserves to play.”
“But don’t say we don’t pay attention. The team arrives in the final stages of all competitions, you couldn’t say that. When this team won three or four finals in a row in the Carabao Cup. Just say we lost the game. When you lose the game the decisions are bad, but it is a poor argument my friend. It’s so poor.”
“You do not get to the semi finals of the FA Cup or the final of the Carabao Cup four years in a row and semi finals of the Champions League when we do not pay attention.”
“We had many many tough games in the FA Cup and in the last four or five years the team always plays to try and win the game. It was a tight game, we were not able to win, congratulations to Chelsea, Chelsea’s a top side.“
The Manchester City manager questioned the reporter if he would have altered the question had his side won the game. “What would happen if the result today was completely different? Say it before the game.”
“Say Pep doesn’t pay attention or the players don’t pay attention. Say it before. Not after, just because we lose a game. Next time tell me which people say that. Don’t put the responsibility on the other people saying that. Tell me which ones. Do you think we don’t pay attention? Do you think Sterling, or Ferran or Jesus didn’t deserve to play the game?“