Pep Guardiola issues tongue-in-cheek message to Liverpool’s opponents Southampton
Pep Guardiola says he is relishing Manchester City’s final-day clash with Aston Villa after jokingly urging Southampton to “beat Liverpool 4-0” on Tuesday.
The Manchester City boss was asked if he had a message for Liverpool’s midweek opponents after watching City’s 2-2 draw with West Ham.
The champions were 2-0 down at the break, but hit back through goals from Jack Grealish and an own goal. They also missed a penalty as they earned a deserved point.
The draw keeps the title in their hands, but if Saints defeat Liverpool on Tuesday they will be champions once more.
A win for Liverpool will move Jurgen Klopp’s men to a solitary point behind. City will host Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa and Liverpool are at home to Wolves.
Asked if he Guardiola had a message for Southampton, he told Sky Sports: “I would say, beat Liverpool four-zero!
“The big, big privilege we have is that, at home, it’s in our hands. We don’t have to look at anything else other than ourselves. We just have to give everything.
“I said [to the players], ‘Don’t be sad today because we gave a really good performance. It’s fair, against this opponent, to arrive at the last day to decide who gets the title because both teams are so good’.
“Against this Liverpool you cannot win the league with four games ago. You have to fight until the end.
“Next week our stadium will be sold out, we will give them our lives and they will give theirs, all together. To do it is an incredible privilege, after many years.
“To have our chance with our people, to win one game to be champions. I’m looking forward to it.
Guardiola: ‘Aguero moment belongs to Mancini’
“We are going to rest for one or two days, mentally disconnect, and then train three or four days to prepare the game against Aston Villa.”
City had unveiled a statue of Sergio Aguero at The Etihad this week. A celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Aguero’s last-gasp title clincher against QPR and Guardiola was keen to avoid similar drama.
“No please, not in that moment,” he added. “That moment a decade ago belongs to Sergio, Roberto Mancini and all of the players who were there.
“I’d say it is similar because it depends on us. It will be tough because there is one part that is emotional, and you have to analyse exactly what you have to do to beat Aston Villa.
“We will give everything that we have over 95 minutes to win the title.”
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