In order for Manchester City to win the world championship the following week, Pep Guardiola stated that his players would need to improve as quickly as possible.
With their June Champions League victory, City has earned a spot in this year’s Club World Cup, which matches the top teams from each continent against one another. In the event that Guardiola’s team advances past Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan on Tuesday, they will play either Fluminese of Brazil or Al-Ahly of Egypt in the championship match, where they would compete for trophies that neither team has ever won.
Even though winning the title is a goal, City is departing for it with a heavy heart. On Saturday, two goals in the closing minutes for Crystal Palace turned a comfortable home victory into further lost points. By the time the Blues return from Saudi Arabia, leaders Liverpool may lead by 12 points.
Hours after the Palace tie, Guardiola acknowledged that the players could be departing under more favourable conditions, but they cannot afford to remain low if they hope to adopt the mentality required to turn things around. It begins with the Urawa Red Diamonds.
“The seven hour flight would be better with a result but it is what it is,” Guardiola stated. “Now that we’re down, we get up as fast as we can to go compete there.