Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola reminds stars of sport’s most epic meltdowns

The Sun Lifestyle 4 months ago

THE week began with talk of it being one of the greatest in Manchester City’s history.

It ended with Pep Guardiola discussing the biggest sporting collapses he remembers.

 Manchester City's season took a huge hit as Liverpool beat them in the Champions League

PA:Empics Sport

Manchester City's season took a huge hit as Liverpool beat them in the Champions League

That might not be what City fans want to hear after a deflating run of three straight losses including a humiliating Champions League exit and derby defeat.

But maybe Pep felt a wake-up call was needed.

If any of his squad need reminding, he pointed to the way David Beckham and Co collapsed at Real Madrid in the 2003-04 season as proof it is not over yet.

Guardiola said: “It can happen, I assure you. Real Madrid, lost six games in a row and didn’t win La Liga.

 Pep Guardiola knows his side are not over the finishing line yet

Getty - Contributor

Pep Guardiola knows his side are not over the finishing line yet

“It can happen, no doubt. In football, in all sport. The players know that. It’s not necessary to say.

“Two years ago in the NBA finals the Cleveland Cavaliers made  history by recovering from 3-1 down against the Golden State Warriors. They won three games in a row to win 4-3.

“But  the title is in our hands. We don’t depend on anyone else and that’s a good advantage. We have six games. We have to win two or win one and draw two — and on Saturday we’re going to start to do it the way we do it.”

Back in 2012, Pep was on a sabbatical when he watched the Ryder Cup in Chicago and witnessed Europe’s sensational fightback dubbed the Miracle of Medinah.

And if City lose to Tottenham at Wembley tonight then nearest rivals United have the chance to turn the pressure up — just a little.

City’s two Champions League defeats by Liverpool were hard to swallow.

And in the middle was the disappointment of failing to seal the title in a home game against deadly rivals Manchester United.

So this was the manager telling his players  it is no time for feeling sorry for themselves or putting their feet up.

 Mo Salah ruthlessly exposed City's defensive frailties with a goal in each leg

EPA

Mo Salah ruthlessly exposed City's defensive frailties with a goal in each leg

They still need six points — though five would almost certainly be enough — from six matches to guarantee themselves the Premier League crown.

By the time City play again — at home to Swansea next Sunday — Jose Mourinho’s men could have chopped a once yawning gap of 16 points to just seven.

Not exactly time to hit the panic button, but perhaps it may just get  Guardiola a little hot under the  collar.

And he expects United to win six of their remaining games.

Guardiola has only lost four games in a row once in his  managerial career — and one of those was a penalty shootout.

Guardiola’s Man City have been knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool and denied the Prem title by Man Utd

But he has no plans to alter his style in a bid to put things right against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

He added: “If we lose, we’re going to do it in a similar way to the way we played against United and  Liverpool.

“I’m sorry, but we’re going to do it in that way.

“The one thing that makes me feel something other than calm is that since November or December we are already champions.

“Whenever I read or listen to the pundits they said it was already done. They said it’s impossible City will drop points.

“But in one week we lost three games.”

Aguero World tear

PEP GUARDIOLA admits he is worried about Sergio Aguero’s fitness ahead of the season run-in — and the World Cup.

Manchester City’s striker came back from a knee injury but another setback meant he could not start against Liverpool and struggled in a cameo appearance as a sub.

Ahead of tonight’s trip to Tottenham, City boss Pep said: “He’s not ready. He played the last 20 minutes against Liverpool and after the game he said, ‘I cannot run, I have a lot of pain’.

“Hopefully he’ll be ready for the last games if we need him and especially the World Cup.”

While their Premier League defeat  by United is unlikely to  matter in the grand scheme of things, Guardiola says it is  something he will analyse.

He expects it to give the Red Devils the lift to their season which will see them finish strongly.

Guardiola said: “Of course it  matters, you always have to reflect on the good things and the bad things in a season.

“But in general, my opinion about my team is the same. Nothing’s changed.

“My feeling now is that United are going to  get a lot of points, because they are in good shape.

“They have top players and they are going to win all six games. So we have to do it.”

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Pep Guardiola vents his anger at the referee after Manchester City exit Champions League at hands of Liverpool

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