LONDON: Pep Guardiola said all thoughts about Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid have been banished ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Everton.
Treble-chasing City hope to claim a place in the final of Europe’s elite club competition when they host Real on Wednesday after drawing 1-1 in the first leg of their last-four tie this week.
City have never won the Champions League, while Guardiola’s wait to get his hands on the trophy has now reached 12 years since he lifted it for the second time as Barcelona boss.
Despite the significance of the Real tie, the Premier League leaders cannot afford to take it easy when they travel to relegation-threatened Everton in a clash that is crucial at both ends of the table.
Any slip-up at Goodison Park would open the door again to second-placed Arsenal, who are just one point behind City, although they have played a game extra.
“My thought is just Everton — no more than that,” Guardiola said on Friday.
“It’s 11 months working for the Premier League. We don’t have much time to Madrid because we play Sunday — thank you so much — but it’s a real, real priority, Goodison Park.”
Real have an extra day’s rest before the second leg as they are in La Liga action on Saturday.
Guardiola, whose team are targeting a fifth Premier League title in six years, would have preferred to play on Saturday too but says he is beyond complaining about the schedule.
“I can’t understand it but I’m not going to fight it anymore,” said the City boss. “I don’t understand it but we have to adapt. The schedule, it is what it is.”
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