Manchester City faces Chelsea with no time to dwell on Madrid’s heartbreak | Manchester City

Watch out for Chelsea: Saturday at 5:15 p.m., Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to show precisely how little sadness they feel for themselves after being eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid.

The FA Cup semi-final comes 72 hours after Wednesday’s penalty shootout drama and, perhaps, too soon for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as smart City aim to forget their lost double treble and to take the next step in its bid to become the leading English men’s club. to claim a double-double.

As Guardiola said: “We have no other option and we don’t want to feel sorry for ourselves. We tried our best but we couldn’t win (against Madrid). After that ? We don’t have time to think. We think in summer. In football, you compete to win but most of the time you lose matches. On City’s mood, he added: “Today we feel better than yesterday, and Saturday better than today.”

Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Manuel Akanji all asked to be substituted against Real. On their availability for Wembley, Guardiola said: “Kevin feels good. Erling, we’ll see – it was a tough match, 120 minutes. Lots of action, high intensity on both sides. Erling felt something, a muscle problem and that’s why he said he couldn’t continue – the doctor said it was a small problem and we will see the development in the next few hours. Kevin felt exhausted and after what happened with a five-month injury, that’s normal.

Guardiola is aware that Chelsea will not be a pushover despite their failed season. Sitting in ninth position, Pochettino’s group of wayward players have only been beaten once in 12 games – namely February’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool – and just beat Everton 6-0 on Monday. Yet if City looked battle-weary at the end of Wednesday’s epic struggle, Jack Grealish is clear that Chelsea should abandon any thoughts of Guardiola’s side deflating.

“I think a lot of it is in your mind. We are fit players and only a few players have played 120 minutes,” insisted the England international. “A lot of us are out and we still have quality players on the bench who haven’t even had a minute. That’s a good thing about our team; there’s a lot of depth and we’ll need it going forward.

The 28-year-old is sure there will be no hangovers. “I would say so. We’re not used to losing, especially in recent years. We always knew it would be a tough match against one of the best teams in the world. It came down to penalties and it’s never nice to go out on penalties. Luckily for us, we have another game in three days where we can put things right.

“Sometimes it’s better when it’s like this,” added Grealish. “It’s better when you can put it in place right away rather than waiting and dwelling on it for a few weeks. This is another huge match to try and turn things around.

The winger sees Saturday’s semi-final as an opportunity for City to reassert their ascendancy. “Since I’ve been here, for three years, it’s been the same,” Grealish said. “We always played the second quarter-final of the Champions League and then we go straight to the FA Cup. The first year it didn’t go well and we were beaten in that game against Liverpool in the semi-final. FA Cup final, but last year it was perfect we went there and won 3-0 at Wembley (against Sheffield United).

“There’s certainly a lot left to play for. I had an amazing first season – actually didn’t play much but loved it – one of my favorites I’ve had so far and all we did was win the Premier League that year and it was in the last 10 minutes. from the last match (against Aston Villa).

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“Last year, obviously, we won the treble, then the Super Cup, the Club World Cup. This year, if we win the Premier League and the FA Cup, it would be a hugely successful season. I hope we can continue and do that and that’s our goal. People remember the good things. Unfortunately, we were eliminated (from the Champions League), but if we can perform by the end of the season, we can finish it successfully. A double (would be) perfect.

Cole Palmer will face his former club at Wembley and has scored 25 goals in 43 appearances for Chelsea, including one in the 4-2 quarter-final win over Leicester last month.

“I was a person who always praised Cole,” Grealish said. “I always said how good he was. I could see him every day in training. I’m very happy for him because he’s a really good guy, a nice guy who I get on well with. I’m happy he’s gone and playing well and consistently. I think that’s the reason he left here because he wanted to play. I’m happy for him, I just hope he doesn’t have the best game on Saturday.

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