Man City must disregard history in Champions League final: Guardiola

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Neither Manchester City’s past failures in Europe nor their domestic success will have any bearing on Saturday’s Champions League final, manager Pep Guardiola said on Tuesday as he urged his players to focus on their own performances.

Guardiola has won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups at City but European success has eluded the manager who won the trophy twice as Barcelona head coach.

City have never won Europe’s elite club competition and lost the final to Chelsea in 2021, but will be favourites to beat Inter Milan this week and complete their bid for a historic treble – having already won the Premier League and FA Cup.

“In that time, when we played the final of the Champions League, we had an incredibly good season in the Premier League. So, we were playing really, really good that year. Quite similar to now. There’s not much difference. Maybe for the fact that we are there again. And I’ve always had the opinion that in one match if you arrive to the finals, maybe one day you will be lucky, and you can win it. So, it’s difficult to just arrive once in your lifetime and win it. The important thing is to be there and when you have this opportunity you want to take it,” Guardiola said.

The City boss heaped praise on opponents Inter’s organisation and defence, with the Italian side having conceded just three goals over the course of six matches in this year’s Champions League knockout stage.

“What we are trying to do in the next few days is try to understand how to play with a lot of difficulties as it is not easy to attack the defensive system Inter use,” Guardiola said.

“So, we will have to bring a lot of rhythm and be patient, we are not going to do it with three or four passes. We have to know the right tempo.”

Guardiola added that Kyle Walker, who limped off the pitch in the 95th minute of City’s 2-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final, is dealing with a back issue.