Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola says he has little respect for Arsenal off the pitch
Guardiola – who manages a team which recently had their two-year ban from the Champions League for alleged financial fair play violations overturned after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – did not elaborate on what exactly that behaviour entailed.
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Rumours abound, however, that it was Arsenal who instigated a collective request by eight EPL clubs for the CAS not to allow a delay to the ban, back before the CAS had ruled on the case, and when the North London side actually had a chance of finishing in the top-five.
As it turned out, that request was moot, as the case was decided before the end of the season, while Arsenal are languishing in 10th. But that request evidently struck a sore point with Guardiola, who last week also demanded an apology and told other clubs to stop “whispering” behind their back.
Of course, it could also be Guardiola to letting off steam, after having watched his expensively assembled team get beaten 2-0 in the FA Cup semi-finals last Sunday morning (SGT) by such a notoriously inconsistent Arsenal team.
To add insult to injury, the Gunners managed to eke out the win despite having to field Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz in defence.
Guardiola, however, insists that he fully respects whatever that Arsenal are doing on the pitch.
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“After we were beaten, we shake hands,” said Guardiola. “The opponents always deserve my respect and credit. And Arsenal, I have all the respect for what they are on the pitch, not much off the pitch - but on the pitch, a lot. Congratulations to them and good luck in the final.”
Man City will take on Watford in their penultimate EPL game on Wednesday morning (SGT), before finishing the season with a dead rubber against Norwich on Sunday.