Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has once more cooled talk of winning a historic Quadruple after watching his side book a spot in the FA Cup final.
The Citizens had a rare below-par display at Wembley in their semi-final encounter with Brighton on Saturday, despite Gabriel Jesus firing them into a fourth-minute lead.
Aymeric Laporte made a crucial clearance over his own crossbar from Glenn Murray’s effort in the second half to keep City ahead as a determined Brighton pushed Guardiola’s men all the way
But the Seagulls lacked any real killer touch throughout the game, which ultimately saw their strong performance go unawarded as City held on for a slender 1-0 win.
However, Guardiola was satisfied to reach his first FA Cup final even though City’s performance was not up to their usual high standards.
“I am happy to be in the final. We extend our season by one more week and we are happy about that,” said Guardiola on the club website.
“For the first ten or 15 minutes of the second half, we were worried. After that, no.
“They are dangerous. It was tough. It’s a semi-final; they are incredible defensively; well-organised and we knew that set-pieces were huge for them. We didn’t concede too many – just one dangerous situation.
“We are happy to be in the final, after winning two titles this season. We are now in the final of the other and in the other two competitions, we are there.”
But the Catalan coach warned against talking up City’s prospects of winning the Quadruple this season.
“It’s almost impossible to win the Quadruple. Surviving is a miracle and it’s nice to be there,” continued Guardiola.
“My opinion is that nobody has done it so why can we do it? It is almost impossible to achieve everything – that is the truth.
“We are losing players every game with tiredness or injuries but still we will try to do it. It’s incredible what these players have done so far, and we are going to try and win every game until the end.
“Today, we didn’t ‘conserve energy’. If it’s 3-0 of 4-0, then fine – but this was absolutely open until the referee said it was the end.
“When you achieve 100 points, you cannot repeat that. The following season, there is a tendency to be arrogant but we are still there.
“No team can perform fantastically for every single game. Sir Alex Ferguson won the treble with United and not every game was like that. It doesn’t work in that way.
“The important thing is that we have won two titles this season and we are second in the Premier League. We did it.
“I first have to live (winning the FA Cup) before I can tell you how it will feel for me personally!
“I don’t know what condition we will arrive to the final in but we are happy to be there.”
City will next meet Tottenham in north London for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash on Tuesday.