‘Dream come true’: Pep Guardiola hails Manchester City’s pursuit of the treble | Manchester City
Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City’s “extraordinary achievement” in pursuing a treble as he urged the club to extend Ilkay Gündogan’s contract beyond this season.
Gündogan played another starring role for City as they brushed aside Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park to move to within three points of a third successive Premier League title. With the Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday, plus the FA Cup final against Manchester United to come, Guardiola believes City’s season is the fulfilment of a dream.
The City manager said: “It is a dream come true, honestly. I know we don’t get trophies but it is a dream come true being here, the only team in Europe fighting for all the competitions. The Premier League is still not over. The Premier League never ends, we know that with Liverpool and now I am pretty sure Arsenal is going to win the two games they have in hand. Now we have a semi-final with our people to try to reach the final of the Champions League. It is an extraordinary achievement and hopefully we finish it off.”
Gündogan scored twice for the second Premier League game in succession to demonstrate, once again, his importance to Guardiola’s side. “He shows again, again and again his quality, his importance and his commitment to all of us at the club,” the manager said of his captain. “He doesn’t talk much [as a captain] but when he talks, everyone listens.
“That is the power of a leader. He shows leadership in every training session – arriving on time, living the job 24 hours a day, playing like he’s playing now. He is a guy who plays close to the box and has an incredible sense of the goal. But he can also play holding midfield no problem. He is a guy who handles the pressure really, really well.”
The midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and Guardiola confirmed he has urged the City hierarchy to keep Gündogan at the club. “Yes [I have told them], I talk about many things with the club,” he said. “Nobody knows what is going to happen. Maybe he stays. Hopefully.”
Guardiola confronted the Everton defender Yerry Mina after the final whistle and, although he would not elaborate on the specifics, he insisted the Colombia international crossed a line with his behaviour on the pitch.
“It’s not necessary what Yerry Mina does,” said Guardiola. “He does it with everyone, in every single game. I told him: ‘You are a good enough player to avoid these kinds of things.’ He knows what it is.”