• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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FA Cup Final: Guardiola takes blame for Man City loss


Pep Guardiola has taken responsibility for Manchester City’s surprising 2-1 defeat in the hands of  Manchester United in the FA Cup final, acknowledging that his game plan backfired.

Man City missed the chance to become the first team to win the Premier League and FA Cup in consecutive seasons, delivering a lacklustre performance at Wembley on Saturday.

Despite their dominance in securing a fourth consecutive Premier League title, they fell short in the final.

First-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo left the Citizens reeling, with only Jeremy Doku’s late goal offering a glimmer of hope.

Read also: FA Cup: Mainoo, Garnacho shine as Man United stun Man City 2-1 in final

Speaking after the match, Guardiola dismissed suggestions of a post-title slump, attributing the loss to his own tactical decisions. “My game plan was not good. We were not in the right position to attack them. It was my decision,” he admitted.

The Spaniard praised his players’ focus but admitted that his tactics were flawed.

“The players were focused. Tactically, it was not good. The players know it. It was a tight game, we gave away the first goal, and the second we didn’t close well enough. The second half was much better because we were more intense. We had the chances, unfortunately, we scored a little bit late.”

Despite the disappointing end to the season, Guardiola highlighted the team’s achievements, including six Premier League titles in seven years. A title parade was planned, and Guardiola urged his players to celebrate their successes. “Now we are sad but tomorrow we celebrate the incredible achievements we have made. Then we come back next season.”

Guardiola also congratulated Manchester United and their manager, Erik ten Hag. Reports suggest Ten Hag might be dismissed despite United’s victory.

Guardiola spoke highly of Ten Hag, who has won two trophies in two years but oversaw United’s lowest Premier League finish since 1990. “They had to take a decision, so I don’t know. He’s a lovely person, an extraordinary manager. Of course, winning the FA Cup is important to them.”

United’s triumph marks their first FA Cup win in eight years, potentially the last under Ten Hag amidst speculation about his future.