KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola acknowledged “one the best seasons I have experienced as a manager” after a 6-0 FA Cup Final thrashing of Watford brought a first domestic treble.
Guardiola, coming to the conclusion of a triumphant third season in the English game, hailed the efforts of his players after a sweeping victory on goals from David Silva, Gabriel Jesus (two), Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling (two).
He said: “Over 10 months it’s so hard to play all the competitions and there have been some incredible teams who have never done this in this country. I love the Champions League but to do this is more difficult than to win the Champions League.
“All the people here at our club deserve big, big compliments. Winning the Premier League was so tough but we kept the energy for the right moment. If Ederson had not saved the first action of the game then the game could have been very different.”
Guardiola had particular praise for the “incredible season” of two-goal Sterling even while acknowledging that “in the first half of the season he wasn’t so good.”
On the issue of City’s problems over UEFA’s financial fair play rules, City’s manager repeated his reliance on assurances from the club management that no wrongdoing had been committed.
As for the multi-million contribution to success from the club’s Abu Dhabi owners, he added: “You can’t do what we have done without top players. Does money help? Yes.”
Watford manager Javi Gracia had no excuses to offer for the Hornets’ second-half collapse.
He said: “City were much better but there were moments for us in the game. We started well and created the best chances then but you need to score if you want to have some chance to win the game.
“I’m happy with the first part of the game but after that City showed their quality so nothing to say – only congratulations to them.”