Pep Guardiola feels Man City must win Champions League to cement legacy and ‘be remembered’

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, May 2023

Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City have to win the Champions League “to be remembered” as club’s get to “another level” when doing so.

Manchester City are showing that they’re one of the best outfits to grace the Premier League. That much has been evident for a good portion of the last few seasons.

Before this term, they’d won the league in four of the last five seasons. Arsenal’s loss to Nottingham Forest yesterday confirmed City had won their third successive title, and their fifth in six seasons.

The Gunners had remained the side to beat deep into the campaign. Indeed, City played second fiddle for some time, not due to their own limitations, but because of how good Arsenal were.

However, when Mikel Arteta’s men slipped up in April, City were on hand to pounce. They took control of the league by capping off a poor run for their rivals by beating them 4-1 at the back end of April.

Since then, they’ve left nothing to chance. City’s winning run in the league was stretched to 12 games with their win over Chelsea.

Against a Blues side in poor shape at the moment, City didn’t really need to get out of second gear. Having already secured the title, Guardiola allowed some lesser seen players a game – the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Stefan Ortega, Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Gomez and Cole Palmer all started.

It was Julian Alvarez, perhaps the league’s best understudy, who scored the only goal of the game, slotting calmly into the bottom corner. He had a second chalked off in the second half due to a Riyad Mahrez handball.

City will want to end the season in strong fashion. While more chopping and changing might be expected in the league – especially given they now have two finals to come – there’s no reason to suggest they won’t win their remaining pair of league games.

The treble is also in sight, with an FA Cup final against rivals Manchester United preceding the Champions League final against Inter Milan.

Guardiola eyeing Champions League legacy

While City have been truly dominant in the league, it seems Guardiola is much more concerned with the Champions League.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, he admitted City will not have cemented their legacy properly unless they can win that competition.

“We have to win Europe to be remembered but it seems unfair, I don’t have the feeling just in case we are not able to win it,” he said.

“The Premier League makes sense, too.

“Of course as a club you get another level, that’s for sure, you have to admit it, you have to win Europe, the Champions League to be considered one of the best teams like Roy Keane [Manchester] United, Liverpool [in the past].”

Guardiola will hope his side can cap off the season with the trophy that has as yet eluded them in order to cement that legacy. It’s the only trophy he’s not won with City, despite having done so twice with Barcelona.

Winning it alongside the league and the FA Cup would be a phenomenal achievement.

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