Guardiola needs a home, sweet home

Sports | 18 May 2017

Pep Guardiola said Manchester City's home form must improve next season if they are to challenge for honors.

He made the point after they beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 in their last home game.

Guardiola's first season in English football now ends at Watford on Sunday, but the Catalan has failed to win silverware for the first time in his managerial career.

Still, the win over West Brom should mean a top-four finish and a place in next season's Champions League, and success at Watford will assure City of advancing directly to the competition proper. "I'm happy it's in our hands to finish third," Guardiola said. "This club had not played in Europe for 30 years. Now we are there every year, but we have to try and be better next season."

Yet City must improve their form at the Etihad Stadium, where despite ending the season with three straight victories they have collected just 11 wins from 19 games.

"Our home season was not good," Guardiola admitted. "That was the reason we didn't fight [for the title] until the end of the season. We lost a lot of points."

But the win against West Brom "was a perfect night, especially for Pablo," Guardiola said. He was referring to Argentinian defender Pablo Zabaleta, who played a last home game for City before leaving as a free agent after nine years.

"It was an emotional night - for his family, for people in the crowd," Guardiola said. "I saw people crying, realizing the impact Pablo had on the club. He helped build something special."


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