Pep Guardiola left frustrated after Manchester City failed to capitalise on his successful tactical prediction of Arsenal playing with five at the back in FA Cup semi-final defeat: ‘It happened against Liverpool so we knew it’
- Arsenal swept aside Manchester City on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final
- A brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a 2-0 semi-final win for Arsenal
- Pep Guardiola was left frustrated by his under-performing players in the defeat
- The Catalan insists he correctly predicted Mikel Arteta’s tactics for the game
A frustrated Pep Guardiola was left rueing missed opportunities after his Manchester City side were swept aside by Arsenal in their FA Cup semi-final defeat on Saturday.
Guardiola admitted that he was disappointed by his City team being unable to capitalise on his successful prediction of Mikel Arteta’s tactics – his former assistant manager.
The City boss was given the perfect blueprint for how to set up against Arsenal following their impressive win over Liverpool in midweek.
Pep Guardiola was left frustrated by his under-performing City players in their FA Cup defeat
Guardiola insists he knew Arteta would set up in a five-at-the-back formation, which led to the Gunners perform emphatically before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace sealed their spot in the FA Cup final.
The Catalan was critical of his underperforming players, claiming the defeat has scuppered some of their plans for the Champions League knockout stages next month.
Guardiola told BT Sport: ‘We didn’t play good, the regret is that we didn’t play the first half like we did in the second. When you play like we did in the second you maybe you can lose but we didn’t play good. On a day when you have to, we didn’t.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace sent Arsenal through to the FA Cup final on Saturday
‘We started low and without the way you have to play. We are always ready many times but today we were not.
‘I knew they play five at the back and with high pressing. They defended well. It happened against Liverpool too so we knew it. But we were not good. We have to play good to go through.
‘Now we have two weeks so we want to play the final [of the Champions League]. We want to be in rhythm.
‘It is the last opportunity we have to go through [to win another trophy].’
City must now put their focus on the Champions League, and the second leg of their quarter-final against Real Madrid on August 7.
‘Now we have two weeks,’ Guardiola said. ‘We wanted to play the (FA Cup) final one week before the Madrid game to be in rhythm, but we missed this chance.’
The Catalan boss insists he correctly predicted Mikel Arteta’s (left) tactics for the game