Pep Guardiola slammed the suggestion that his team hadn’t taken their FA Cup semi-final seriously enough after they went out with a whimper against Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola said: “What could I say? We had two-and-a-half days to recover and play away and have to travel, we were on the train for three hours and we were stopped one hour. Everyone deserved to play, don’t say we don’t pay attention, when this team reached four finals in a row in a Carabao Cup. Just say we lost the game and when we lose the game the decisions are bad but it is a poor argument. You don’t get to the semi-finals of the FA Cup or final of the Carabao Cup four years in a row when we don’t pay attention. We go to Cheltenham and play many many games and always play to try to win the game. It was a tight game, congratulations to Chelsea – they are a top side. This can happen. If you believe we don’t pay attention for that, what if the result was completely different and we won with eight changes? Say it before the game that Pep doesn’t pay attention or the players don’t, but don’t say after just because we lose the game. These guys fight every game like never before I’ve seen. Now we don’t pay attention? We respect the FA Cup a lot, we come here to win and next time tell me which people say that. Do you think [Raheem] Sterling, or Gabriel [Jesus], or Ferran [Torres] don’t deserve to play the game? Say it.”