Real Madrid help Pep Guardiola to fire Man City warning to Man United despite title celebrations

-Credit: (Image: 2024 Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester United they will face a fresh Manchester City after admitting they turned up tired to last year's final.

City won the FA Cup last year thanks to two Ilkay Gundogan goals - the first after just 12 seconds - to set them up for the Treble and deny Erik Ten Hag a second trophy in his first year in English football. The gap between the teams has grown this year, with Premier League champions City finishing 31 points above eighth-placed United and able to deny their neighbours any European football next season if they win at Wembley.

And while the Blues cannot win consecutive Trebles, Real Madrid have helped their effort to become the first team to win consecutive Doubles. City's coach said that being knocked out at the quarter-final stage has allowed his team to be in a better place mentally as well as physically for this year's final after celebrating a fourth consecutive league title on Sunday.

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City's players and management enjoyed a night out after the title win. There were a few faces looking a bit worse for wear after the celebrations which started in the Tunnel Club hospitality and then moved on to a Greek restaurant in town.

Guardiola insists, however, that they are fresh and raring to go after a good week of training, and with less games under their belt than last year.

"We arrived tired last season, the games in the last period were mentally so exhausting last season," said Guardiola. "The fact that we went out to Real Madrid in the [Champions League] quarter-finals and didn't play the semi-finals around Nottingham Forest and Fulham helped us for the Premier League.

"I don't know how we would be if we had gone through in the Champions League but we arrive in a good mood. We trained really well these last few days and we will see.

"Maybe we play a bad game and don't win but I have the feeling that we will travel with the intention to still be there. We are not disconnected after the Premier League, we are still there."