Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to seal title ‘as soon as possible’

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Pep Guardiola would rather Manchester City wrap up the Premier League title this weekend and will take a look at what is happening at Old Trafford on Sunday.

A 2-0 win away to Crystal Palace has put the leaders on the verge of another top-flight crown and it will be confirmed if second-placed Manchester United lose at home to Liverpool.

If City fail to receive a helping hand from Jurgen Klopp’s side, they can seal a third title in four years at the Etihad Stadium against Chelsea next Saturday.

Second-half strikes by Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres in the capital ensured Guardiola’s men have one hand on the Premier League trophy following a 25th top-flight victory of the campaign.

“I will take a look at the (Manchester United) game and what happens, happens but the most important thing is the fact we do not need them to be champions.

“Again it is in our hands. If we don’t win it tomorrow, we try to do it next week, if not next week, the next week. We have four games, we need two points in four games to be champions.”

City stalwart Aguero was key to this triumph in London after Palace had been able to frustrate the visitors during a competitive first half.

Sergio Aguero scores the opening goal for City
Sergio Aguero scores the opening goal for City (Catherine Ivill/PA)

“He is an absolutely top, legend, extraordinary player behaving as the most humble and nicest human being and it is not easy to find that,” Guardiola added.

“That’s why I love him as a man, another player in his situation and what he has done could create conflict and a difficult situation.

“When one guy is beloved like he is for all our fans, it is not just for scoring a thousand million goals. It is because he is something that the people realise, that you cannot hide away as a person.

Pep Guardiola will watch the game at Old Trafford on Sunday
Pep Guardiola will watch the game at Old Trafford on Sunday (Steven Paston/PA)

“But what he has done in this club will remain forever and we want to finish the best way possible.

“And he is going to help us in the Champions League and going to help us in the Premier League to finish it. It is not easy to find a player like him with these numbers and achievements being like he is as a human being.”

City remain on track for a treble and turn their focus to Tuesday’s meeting with Paris St Germain where they could progress to a first-ever Champions League final.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson watched the first leg of their last-four clash earlier this week and got to see Guardiola’s players first hand on Saturday.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson shares a joke with Kevin De Bruyne
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson shares a joke with Kevin De Bruyne (Steven Paston/PA)

Hodgson said: “Watching them as close as I have done these last four years in the league, and seeing the way Pep has worked with this team, I have got to say I don’t think I have ever come across a team that good.

“If you did really twist my arm and give me one team that might give them a good game, I’d say the Ajax team of Johan Cruyff in 1987, with the Van Bastens and Bergkamps.

“I have often said in the past that was the toughest encounter I faced, Malmo vs Ajax, and in the future I might have to change my mind and put Man City up there instead.”

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