Pep Guardiola fears semi-final curse against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in FA Cup


Pep Guardiola fears he will fall victim to his semi-final woes again today – at the hands of his former Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta. Despite all of his brilliant successes with Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich and City, Guardiola has lost seven of the 21 semi-finals he has appeared in as manager.

By his own admission, he found the semi-finals a more difficult hurdle to overcome than the finals, which is why he is wary of Saturday’s clash at Wembley with Arteta’s Arsenal.

When asked about the prospect of an all-Manchester final with United, Guardiola cited his questionable semi-final record as a reason not to look too far.

“I would say that United must beat Chelsea and we must beat Arsenal to do this,” said Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola says he won’t wait for FA Cup final given his record in last four clashes

“And on both sides, it’s not easy. I don’t know what to say, I don’t even think for a second who could be our opponent in the final.

“I struggled a lot in my career in the semi-finals. It was easier in the final. I treated them much, much better.

“I lost a lot more semi-finals than finals in which I participated. It’s more difficult, so after, we’ll see what’s going on.

“The players know it will be so tight. I have the same opinion of Arsenal and Mikel.

Guardiola says former protégé Arteta helped Arsenal rediscover team spirit

“My opinion didn’t change when they beat Liverpool or lost to Brighton, not for a second.

“So we expect a tough game. They have something special – team spirit. Mikel created this.

“I’m sure the right person to bring them back is here.

“They have the right man. I have the feeling that it creates something unique. If they give him what he needs, they will be candidates in the future. “

City lost to Arsenal in the semifinals in 2017, the first year at the helm of Guardiola, since he led the Blues to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and three League Cups.

“It has changed a lot since then,” Guardiola said. “What we have been doing in the last few seasons, people will think we are the favorites.

“But I’ve never won a game before because I was the favorite or I lost a game because I wasn’t the favorite.

“We lost that day, it was a close game but during that time it was just at the start and we were still getting to know each other.

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“Now it’s another semi-final and there are a lot of factors – focus, set-pieces, throw-ins, minimum details.

“How strong you are in your head, how you are in bad times, how you overcome bad situations, how you never fall, never give up.

“These games are about mentality, not tactics. We are ready to play another final and it will be a good test to see if we are ready to play against Real Madrid in the Champions League. ”

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