Pep Guardiola believes his time at City 'now makes sense'

Emeh Joy
By Emeh Joy

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola praised the club's former players and staffs after the club secured a Champions League finalist showdown against Chelsea.

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola now believes in his team at the club more than ever before

Riyad Mahrez stole the show once again on Tuesday evening as he helped his side clinch a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium against Paris St-Germain in the Champions League semi-final.

Two goals from the City winger, in the second leg, helped see his side through to the penultimate final after being the French side 4-1 on aggregate. Despite what the scoreline might suggest, the fixture was incredibly close, with PSG pushing hard to score multiple occasions.

Pep Guardiola laid his praise on thick for his side in a press conference following the win, saying, "Every day these guys have been consistent."

The City manager also showed his gratitude to former Manchester City players and the people behind the scene.

“I want to thank the former players who helped take us to another level -- Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and David Silva. This is because of them; they helped take us to another level.

“I also want to thank the owner, the Chairman and the staff at the club. This club is about all the people that work behind the scenes, the ground staff working at halftime; it’s not just about money. If you want to think that, then you are wrong.”

It is no secret that Pep Guardiola has achieved huge amounts with Manchester City since taking the managerial role back in 2016. Over this five-year period, Guardiola has won two Premier League titles, four Carabao Cups, one FA Cup and two FA Community Shields.

Despite this impressive trophy collection, the Spanish coach has always questioned his side's progress in the ultimate competition, the Champions League.

Before the Sky Blues recent 2-0 win over Paris St-Germain, which saw the English side win 4-1 on aggregate, they had failed to surpass the quarter-finals in the previous three seasons - losing to Tottenham Hotspur, Lyon and Liverpool.

Manchester City has never progressed beyond the quater-finals in the UEFA Champions league history when they lost to Lyon last year

But finally reaching the final of the Champions League, which had up to this point done a great job alluding Pep, the Manchester City boss says his five-year spell at the Etihad Stadium "now makes sense".

This competition will be Manchester City's 10th consecutive season where they have competed in the Champions League, and this time around, Pep Guardiola will be desperate to go all the way.

Although Pep is eager to clinch his first Champions League trophy as the Manchester City manager, following their successful semi-final win against PSG, he realises the tough task ahead.

Manchester City is on track to lift three trophies this year, with them one win away from being crowned Premier League champions. It has already lifted the Carabao Cup for the third consecutive time.

Pep Guardiola may not have yet reached a Champions League final with Manchester City, but he is certainly not a newcomer when considering the final of this illustrious competition. As Barcelona manager, Guardiola took his side to win two Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011, which remains one of his most outstanding achievements - beating Manchester United in both games.

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Guardiola won the Champions League trophy at Barcelona and will be hoping to do the same at Manchester City.

During the Manchester City managers' time at Bayern Munich and Barcelona, Pep stood at the helm of his side and won 15 cup competitions. So it is fair to say that Manchester City is in great hands with Pep Guardiola from the statistics side of things.

Taking a deeper dive into the statistics behind the success of Pep Guardiola in the finals of competitions, we see that the Spanish manager has won 19 of the 23 finals he has reached losing on just four occasions. In percentages, 82.6% represents the finals won, while just 17.4% represents the finals lost.

The first of the four finals that Pep has lost as a manager came at FC Barcelona when his side fell short to a single goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2010/11 Copa del Rey. The next three defeats that Guardiola would suffer would arrive at Bayern Munich when his side failed at the final hurdle in the DFL-Supercup three years in a row - 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2012/15.

Manchester City fans will be motivated by the statistic that Pep Guardiola has never lost a final since joining the English side in 2016 and will hope to see this statistic extend once the Champions League final comes around on May 29th.