Pep talks down prospect of City title party against United

Sports | 14 Mar 2018

Manchester City have the tantalizing prospect of claiming the English Premier League crown with a home win over rivals Manchester United but, while the fans would relish such a unique moment, Pep Guardiola wants to keep such a scenario out of his mind.

City, who have a 16-point lead over their second-placed arch-rivals with eight games remaining, first need to beat Everton at Goodison Park on March 31 if they are to head into the Manchester derby at Etihad Stadium on April 7 with the title within reach.

But Guardiola, whose side won 2-0 at Stoke City thanks to goals from David Silva, was quick to emphasize that the derby comes between the two legs of the Champions League quarter-finals. "We want to be [Premier League] champions ... but before and after United we have [the Champions League] quarter-finals and at that moment it is the most important thing," said Guardiola. "I understand for the fans, OK, but the important thing is to be [Premiership] champions. When, where, it doesn't matter."

Skipper Vincent Kompany understands the emotion that would be generated by winning the title by beating United. "Everybody on the blue side of Manchester knows it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said.

REUTERS

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