20 Dec 2017

Guardiola rules out Man City quadruple

2:36 pm on 20 December 2017

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola denied they can win the quadruple despite reaching the Carabao Cup semifinals with a shoot-out victory at Leicester.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Photosport

Claudio Bravo saved Riyad Mahrez's effort in the shoot-out after Jamie Vardy also missed to hand City a 4-3 win following a 1-1 draw after extra-time on Wednesday (NZ time).

Vardy had taken the tie to an extra 30 minutes after he scored a stoppage-time spot-kick to cancel out Bernardo Silva's first-half opener.

Arsenal booked their place in the semifinals as their all-changed side beat London rivals West Ham United 1-0 in an undistinguished tie at the Emirates Stadium.

City are 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League but, after being run close by the Foxes, Guardiola dismissed any suggestions they will complete a clean sweep in the league, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

"That is not going to happen. Of course not," he said. "Come on, that isn't real. What we're living isn't real.

"That is not going to happen. The situation of winning 16 or 17 games in a row in the league and qualifying for the Champions League before we finished the group stage and now we're here playing with a lot of young players.

"That is not normal. In football you drop points and you lose competitions.

"I am not thinking about how many titles, I am thinking about the next game."

City relied on penalties to beat Wolves in the last round and were under pressure for long spells of the second half and extra-time after the introduction of Mahrez, Vardy and Demarai Gray.

The trio started on the bench and watched on as the visitors dominated the first half, with only Silva's 26th-minute goal to show for it.

But Leicester levelled in the seventh of eight minutes of time added on at the end when Kyle Walker tangled with Gray and Vardy scored the spot-kick.

"What is important is how we react, so what if it is a penalty or not a penalty," Guardiola added.

"It was the last minute so it was tough, especially with a lot of young players. At big teams you have to handle the bad moments and have to find situations.

"I said in the locker room to celebrate again. You have to wait to win the title and even in the position we are in you don't know if we are able to win the Premier League.

"But in the process in the moment you have to celebrate always. We will enjoy it."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who replaced all 11 starters from the weekend Premier League home win over Newcastle United, still had plenty of international pedigree as England striker Danny Welbeck got the winner three minutes before halftime.

Welbeck's persistence in bundling home from close range was one of the few highlights, a solitary shot on target, in a dull derby but David Moyes' side never threatened Arsenal, with a wayward Aaron Cresswell free kick proving their best effort.

- PA, Reuters