Pep Guardiola: Cup loss to Liverpool has little impact on City’s league hopes

Pep Guardiola doesn’t think Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City will give the Merseysiders a psychological advantage in the title race.

City manager Guardiola believes Saturday’s thrilling clash at Wembley will only be relevant going forward if the two clubs meet again in the Champions League final.

Liverpool won 3-2 at the national stadium to keep their quadruple bet and at the same time end City’s hopes of winning a treble.

City fell short as Liverpool prevailed at Wembley

City fell short as Liverpool prevailed at Wembley (Adam Davy/PA)

Attention now turns to the exciting title race between the two clubs, with City holding a one-point lead at the top of the Premier League with seven games remaining. Both are still alive in Europe and could meet again in next month’s final in Paris if City beat Real Madrid and Liverpool beat Villarreal in the semi-finals.

Guardiola said: “There is a possibility that we will play at the end of the season, in case both teams reach the Champions League final. Then I’ll see what happened.

“Now the psychology is that we have seven games in the Premier League and we know exactly what we are going to have to do to try and win the Premier League.

“We go game by game. We don’t have time (to dwell on the result). In four days we have another match, then Watford, then Madrid, then another.”

Kevin De Bruyne did not participate in Saturday's clash

Kevin De Bruyne was not involved in Saturday’s crash (Adam Davy/PA)

City will be next in action when they host Brighton on Wednesday.

Guardiola hopes playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who were unused substitutes at Wembley with foot and knee injuries respectively, will be fit to return.

Kyle Walker was also not involved due to an ankle problem as Guardiola made seven changes from the squad that arrived in last Wednesday’s grueling Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid.

Guardiola said: “When you have the whole squad it’s easier to manage. We need people to come back to deal with the situation.

“The players in the second half would say that they are sad and tired, but how do they react? This has been our team for a long time. No matter how we fight, we do.”

Oleksandr Zinchenko (right) hopes City can bounce back quickly

Oleksandr Zinchenko (right) hopes City can bounce back quickly (Adam Davy/PA)

Left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is also determined that City make a speedy recovery.

The Ukrainian said: “The reaction from us in the second half is how we should react in this type of situation. We can not give up. We have to fight to the end.

“At this stage, every match is a final. It doesn’t matter what competition it is.

“We may be mentally tired, but you have to figure these kinds of things out at this level. We have a great squad, we have a lot of players who can play.

“We cannot make excuses. They were all ready to play. They all did everything and left everything on the field.

“We are out of this competition, but there are still two titles left to fight for.”

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