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Guardiola aims dig at Arsenal

Guardiola aims sly dig at Arsenal days after Man City’s FA Cup exit

July 21, 2020 By Ali M.
The Spaniard made these remarks in a press conference for the club's upcoming clash vs Watford.

Only a few days have passed since Man City’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Arsenal. The two English giants locked horns in the first of two semi-finals, with the Citizens crashing out after a 2-0 defeat.

Guardiola has praised the Gunners for their performance since that defeat, and has done so once again in a recent press conference. However, the Spanish tactician also aimed a sly dig at the FA Cup finalists.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Watford in the Premier League, Pep revealed his admiration for the on-the-pitch achievements of Arsenal, led by his former assistant coach Mikel Arteta. However, the part that stood out was when the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich gaffer added that he has little respect for the north London giants when it comes to matters off the pitch.

“We didn’t play the first half against Arsenal like the second, that was the only regret. We wanted to play 90 minutes like the second half,” the City boss said, as per Goal.

“But, after we were beaten, we shake hands. The opponents always deserve my respect and credit. And Arsenal, I have all the respect for what they are on the pitch, not much off the pitch – but on the pitch, a lot. Congratulations to them and good luck in the final.”

While Guardiola did not go into details as to why he does not think highly of Arsenal off the pitch, one can easily deduce that the reason behind this is not due to that FA Cup defeat but the Citizens recent European ban. Last season’s Premier League champions were handed a two-year ban by UEFA over alleged FFP breaches, with the club quickly lodging an appeal to the CAS.

The Abu Dhabi-owned side received a favorable ruling in mid-July, with the suspension being overturned, thus clearing them to participate in the Champions League next season. However, despite the result, Man City are said to be unhappy with several English rivals, with Arsenal being a key member, as they allegedly wrote to the CAS back in March in order to get Guardiola’s side banned from the UCL while the appeal was being heard.

Some outlets even claim that the north London giants are working alongside the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Man Utd, and Leicester to persuade UEFA to appeal the CAS verdict. Of course, these are mere speculations at the moment but Pep’s remark was telling of the behind-the-scene battles between England’s top dogs.


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