Manchester City: Every word manager Pep Guardiola said on Crystal Palace, the treble and Patrick Vieira

The Manchester City boss gave his thoughts on these subjects ahead of their Premier League clash with the Eagles on Monday.

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Pep Guardiola is under no illusion the task his Manchester City side have when they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday with the Catalan calling it a ‘difficult place to go’.

The Sky Blues fell to a 2-0 defeat to the Eagles at the Etihad Stadium in November, a result the club would not like to replicate.

Guardiola’s side come into the game off the back of a 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon in the second-leg of their Champions League last-16 clash. City progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition with a 5-0 aggregate score over the Portuguese club in two-legs.

On ‘difficult’ opposition

Manchester City fell to a 2-0 defeat against Crystal Palace in November. Credit: Getty. Manchester City fell to a 2-0 defeat against Crystal Palace in November. Credit: Getty.
Manchester City fell to a 2-0 defeat against Crystal Palace in November. Credit: Getty.

The Eagles are in good form heading into Monday’s fixture with  just one loss in their last eight in all competitions.

Their style of play is something Guardiola knows will make it a ‘difficult’ game for his side.

“Seeing the run Crystal Palace are on right now, one loss in their last eight games, the quality they have, especially up front with [Wilfried] Zaha, when they defend deep they are difficult to break down… Selhurst Park is always a difficult place to go,” Guardiola said.

The Catalan later discussed the impact Patrick Vieira has had on Palace since taking over as manager in the summer.

Guardiola added: “His intention was to play, press. With [Roy] Hodgson before they defend it the box massively well. Through the months, now just seeing these details, lots of minutes vs Chelsea [before conceding], they’re doing really well.

“Patrick knows perfectly the Premier League, he has been one of the best players of all time in this league.

“He knows the stadiums, the media, the smell of the competition. Personally I’m happy he’s going well.”

Likelihood of winning the treble this season

Pep Guardiola. Credit: Getty.Pep Guardiola. Credit: Getty.
Pep Guardiola. Credit: Getty.

Guardiola was asked whether he has thought of and if he thinks his team could win the treble this season, a topic he swiftly shut down.

“No, [it] doesn’t motivate me, lower than zero on my mind,” he said.

“Fairytales. This is the reality, you should understand the level is so competitive, so difficult. What we have to do is try and win at Palace. After we see. What I’m happy is we’re in the quarter-finals, the opponent will be so tough. Step by step, recover, increase our levels, then we’ll see.”

Advice for younger players

Guardiola substituted Ederson for Scott Carson in the 73rd-minute, a decision that resulted in the City boss being asked why the latter was picked over a younger player, especially after CJ Egan-Riley, James McAtee and Luke Mbete were handed their Champions League debuts.

The Catalan offered some advice to the younger members of his squad, specifically in relation to learning from Carson.

“One of the best advice for them is stay around Carson as much as possible in the locker room and the pitch,” Guardiola said.

“Listen to him, every time he says pay attention, do it, this is the best advice they can get. You have to be there to know his influence, every situation is different. Experienced to live many things. His value, just be with them. Like young actors have to be with old actors. They are wiser, they have learned the values of a profession.”