Guardiola: Nothing has changed with Arteta

By Sports Desk December 18, 2019

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he had no update on Mikel Arteta's future after a 3-1 EFL Cup win over Oxford United on Wednesday.

Raheem Sterling scored a brace to go with Joao Cancelo's opener at Kassam Stadium as City reached the semi-finals, where rivals Manchester United await.

But much of the focus still centres around assistant Arteta, who is reportedly set to take over as Arsenal head coach.

However, speaking at his post-match news conference, Guardiola said he had nothing to add regarding his fellow Spaniard.

"He has been with us for three and a half seasons so no changes, I don't have any news so we prepared the game as best as possible," he said.

"I don't have to say anything more until new news, when there is new news, in my next conference when you ask me something I will answer."

Oxford and City met in the EFL Cup for the second straight season, and Guardiola's men were once again too strong for the League One side.

But the City boss paid tribute to Karl Robinson's team after a hard-fought victory.

"With the ball they were brilliant and without the ball they defended tough situations with fast players, tall players and they did it really well," Guardiola said.

"I'm very pleased for him and I congratulated him because they were extraordinary."

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    Kane has reportedly told Tottenham he wants to leave, sparking apparent interest from City, neighbours Manchester United and Chelsea.

    Speaking after City's 3-2 Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, Guardiola declined to fuel the rumours.

    "Next question," Guardiola said during his post-match news conference. "He's a Tottenham Hotspurs player. Please."

    Kane's future is unclear given his ambition to win trophies which has been unfulfilled at boyhood club Spurs.

    City are in the market for a new forward with free agent Sergio Aguero exiting this off-season, although the club have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

    Meanwhile, Guardiola insisted he was not concerned by City's recent form ahead of the Champions League final against Premier League rivals Chelsea on May 29.

    Guardiola's City have lost two of their past three matches, conceding eight goals in the process.

    City have lost six Premier League games having led by two or more goals – only Tottenham (eight) have suffered more such defeats in the competition's history.

    Against Brighton, City's possession figure was just 37 per cent, the lowest recorded by a side managed by Guardiola in a single top-flight match.

    "On Sunday, with our people, we are going to lift the trophy," Guardiola said. "And after we are going to go for the final of the Champions League.

    "I am concerned because this is the final of the Champions League, because the opponent is so tough. I saw incredible things today in the pitch with 11 against 10 for 80 minutes in the Premier League.

    "We are fortunate to lift the [Premier League] trophy and we did it ourselves. Nobody gave us absolutely anything; nothing.

    "That's why I am so proud of the team; it means how difficult is the Premier League again, and now we're going to prepare as best as possible for the final of the Champions League."

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    Cavani became only the third United player over the age of 33 to reach 10 goals in a single Premier League season, after Teddy Sheringham in 2000-01 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2016-17, with a sublime 36.4-yard effort in the first half.

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    It was Leeds' 10th league win on the road this season, their best effort in a top-flight campaign since 1973-74, when they won 12 on the way to winning the title.

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    Graham Potter's side fell behind to Ilkay Gundogan's early goal – the 10th City have scored in the opening two minutes under Pep Guardiola in the Premier League – but were buoyed by Joao Cancelo's red card.

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    Their possession figure in this match was just 37 per cent – the lowest recorded by a side managed by Guardiola in a single top-flight match.

    Phil Foden has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season. Among players in the top five European leagues currently aged under 21, only Erling Haaland (39) has scored more, but his stunning effort was not enough.

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    Leicester have won just two of their past 30 away league games against Chelsea (D11 L17), winning 1-0 in December 2018 and 2-0 in September 2000.

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    Gundogan trudged off 56 minutes into Tuesday's contest, with City leading 2-1 at the time – the Germany international having opened the scoring early on, before Phil Foden netted a sensational second and Leandro Trossard replied for Brighton.

    The 30-year-old, who has scored 17 goals across all competitions this season, was the recipient of a reckless challenge from Alireza Jahanbakhsh in the first half, and Guardiola cited this as the reason for his eventual departure.

    Gundogan had an ice pack strapped to his left knee as he watched on from the sidelines, with City going on to capitulate to goals from Adam Webster and Dan Burn, whose winner sealed Brighton's first top-flight victory over the Citizens since 1981.

    With the Champions League final against Chelsea coming up on May 29, Guardiola said Gundogan will be assessed on Wednesday, though the initial prognosis was positive.

    "Tomorrow we are going to check it. The doctor is quite optimistic," Guardiola told a news conference.

    "The problem is he had a kick and he was running in the second half with a disturbance. I didn't want to take a risk, that's why we did the substitution."

    Gundogan may not be the only star midfielder facing a race against time to be fit for the showdown in Porto next week, with Chelsea's N'Golo Kante going off with a problem in their match against Leicester City.

    With 32 minutes played at Stamford Bridge, Kante left the field to be replaced Mateo Kovacic.

    Kante – who was named in France's squad for Euro 2020 on Tuesday – showed no obvious signs of discomfort but was seen discussing his presumed fitness problem with an animated Thomas Tuchel on the touchline.

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