Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that he has told his players to ignore the occasion and instead to just treat their final game as nothing more than a football match. The Cityzens face Aston Villa on the final day and a win will hand them their eight Premier League title.
Following Liverpool’s draw to Tottenham, Manchester City were officially placed in the front seat of the title race with the Cityzens’ fate completely in their hands. However, that was despite a draw in their penultimate game against West Ham United as a win over Aston Villa on the final day will ensure that they lift their fourth league title in five years. But there are other permutations and combinations that could lead to Liverpool lifting the title, including should City lose to Villa.
It has seen many wonder whether the Cityzens and Pep Guardiola are under any pressure especially after they lost the chance to lift a Champions League trophy following a shock defeat to Real Madrid. But Pep Guardiola has revealed that he has taken the pressure off the game by telling his players to ignore the occasion and remember that it’s “just a football game”. He also added that their focus is more on what Aston Villa will do and less on what could be if they lose the game.
"I've said to our players, it's just a football game. Don't think about how happy or sad we'd be, just focus on what we have to do to beat Aston Villa. Having one more title, or one less one, that's important but it's just a football game,” Guardiola said, reported Sky Sports.
"Focus on will they play [Ollie] Watkins or [Danny] Ings or just Watkins. Douglas Luiz as a holding midfielder as a three or four [midfielders]? Is John McGinn moving inside or outside. Will they play [Phillipe] Coutinho and [Emiliano] Buendia together? This is what we have to do to win the game.
"I have a feeling we will do things incredibly well. We have not been here many times in our history but we have to be anxious or nervous? No way. Just try to enjoy and suffer the moment."