After a hard-fought three points at Bramall Lane, Manchester City turn their attentions to the FA Cup, as their defence of the trophy continues at home to Championship side Fulham.
Here’s what Pep Guardiola had to say when he faced the media before this one…
Liverpool breaking City’s records?
Liverpool are absolutely flying in the Premier League, winning 22 and drawing just one of their first 23 games. Manchester City’s ‘Centurion’ record is seriously under threat, and Pep Guardiola certainly knows it:
“Records are there to be broken. We broke it when someone said we couldn’t and sooner or later it will be broken again. History speaks clearly about that. It is not easy to beat Liverpool, they have found a way to win games.”
Lukaku’s racism stance
Pep Guardiola has also backed Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku on his stance against racism:
“Not just the players, everyone. In schools, in families. Of course we are public people, especially the players. As a group, as a football group or a club, we take a decision and we support them.”
Guardiola on Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte was a surprising, but welcome, return on Tuesday night, and Pep Guardiola will be happy to have the centre-back available:
“He played more than 70 minutes in his first game, he played well but he is not going to solve all the problems that we have. He is one more player and if we can use him we will use him.”
The boss also knows the importance of having the Frenchman back in action:
“He’s a guy who helps us to do our buildup easier and when that happens we lose balls, concede fewer counter-attacks and that’s why we are more stable. Basically it is that. He is strong in the air, fast, and a special personality.
When we play good this season, we didn’t need him, so he cannot help us because we were good.”
Everybody except Leroy fit
The usual injury update by Pep Guardiola – as of Friday afternoon, everybody except Leroy Sané, who has still not rejoined the team, is fit and available for selection.
“It doesn’t matter who plays when all of them are fit. The selection is good. The players have the responsibility to try and win the game, it doesn’t matter my selection.”
Plans for the winter break
The first ever winter break in the Premier League is almost upon us, but Guardiola is using this time to let his players recover after a tough schedule:
“A few days off and after, train again here to prepare for Arsenal. I want the guys to stay with their families and themselves and in this case I decided to be here.”
The penalty dilemma
Since Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure left Manchester City, we’ve struggled to find a consistently productive penalty taker. After Gabriel Jesus’ miss in midweek, Guardiola suggested it’s an issue he’ll have to sort out and has even considered Ederson for the role.
He was asked about his comments again today, and when asked whether he’s decided who the taker could be, his answer was simply:
And can we be told who that might be?
Loans for Garcia and Harwood-Bellis?
It’s been a quiet transfer window for the Blues, but Guardiola provided us with some interesting comments surrounding two youngsters. When asked if Eric Garcia could go on loan:
“Eric Garcia, it is impossible.”
But if it was a possibility for Harwood-Bellis:
“I think Harwood-Bellis is going to stay until the end of the season. I don’t know if there were any offers from the Premier League.
If he had a loan offer, maybe we would consider it for his development.”
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