Guardiola switches focus to UCL

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Pep Guardiola says that City will prioritise the Champions League quarter-final games against Liverpool that sandwich the Manchester Derby next weekend, with just one win required to secure the title after victory against Everton.

The Blues romped past Everton with a 3-1 win to record a club-record 13th away win in a season and set up a mouth-watering clash against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday.

But Guardiola, who secured his 50th Premier League win as City boss, insisted that the Blues’ European campaign will be the focus of his attention.

“Now our focus is the champions league so we are going to adapt the game against United for the Liverpool games before and after,” the manager said, after first-half goals from Leroy Sané, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling put the Blues in the driving seat against Everton.

“With the distance we have [16 points], we have to be focused on the Champions League and in the middle we have United – who of course we are going to try and beat and try and play – but the line-up will be thinking about Liverpool.”

Pep insists that while winning the league by beating United would be “special”, the circumstances of securing the club’s fifth league title are of little importance.

“For the supporters I can understand,” said the boss.

“I am a Barcelona supporter and if we are able to win the league at home to Real Madrid then that is special, we cannot deny that.

“But we spoke for the last period with the players that no matter the circumstances the important thing is to be champions.”

City’s first-half display at Goodison Park was rampant, with Sané and Gabriel Jesus finding both finding the back of the net before the 15-minute mark.

Sterling’s 21st goal of the season on 37 minutes typified an electric display, with David Silva providing the second of his assists on the counter-attack.

And Pep was delighted with the form his side showed after a 19-day break from competition.

“We are so happy,” he said.

“After 3 weeks without game you never know how you will react and the way we started, the first half was so good. And the second half as well.

“No matter what happens you have to be aggressive and jam and try to keep the ball and be aggressive and we did that.

“We know in this stadium at Goodison Park and at Anfield that if you don’t win duels or show up then it’s so complicated, it’s almost impossible to take a result.

“This is the first time as manager that we have been able to beat Everton as a manager and just one more game or two more games and we will be champions.”

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