“Sometimes money, sometimes Covid” – Guardiola returns fire on Tuchel and Van Dijk

Pep Guardiola responded to his rivals’ title claim regarding Manchester City that he was lucky with the number of COVID-19 cases.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk have spoken out in recent days about the relative “happiness” of the reigning Premier League champion.

When the ideas were presented to Guardiol at a press conference on Friday before the match with Chelsea, the Catalan coach said: “We had injuries, we had COVID.

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“It simply came to our notice then. [Some of] the players wanted respect, so the club decided not to.

“We had a lot of players with COVID. Lots of people, behind the scenes staff, with COVID. And in the biggest season, we had a lot of incredibly serious injuries to our players.

“So what can I say? Do they believe we were lucky? Okay, we were lucky!

“What can I say? There are pandemics all over the world, everywhere. We are exposed, every day, every minute. We are no exception.

“If he believes that’s the reason [City have pulled clear in the title race], so maybe. Maybe.

“Sometimes it’s the money we have, other times it’s COVID. So I don’t know, maybe. “

Guardiola on the rules of postponing the Premier League

City is in exuberant form, winning the last 11 Premier League games and rising to the top of the table. Guardiol’s men now have a 10-point lead over Chelsea.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has been shaken by the COVID-19 crisis with mass criticism over uncertainty about how many absentees are needed to postpone.

Guardiola is no clearer in the rules than anyone else, but she does not intend to ask for the match to be canceled: “In the last match, in the FA Cup, we had 13 players in the first team.

“We had 11 previous players at Aston Villa.

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“This decision is for the Premier League, not us.” I don’t know the situation with other clubs.

“We’re trying to play. Do we have 11 or 12 players? Enough, we play. We have Cole Palmer, we have [James] McAtee. We try to play.

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“We never ask.” [for the games to be postponed]. I don’t know what counts – whether it’s just COVID or an injury.

“But injuries happen all the time, so I don’t know the standards or rules of the Premier League when it’s revoked.” In many cases, we only had 12 players and we played. “

Pep returns against Chelsea

Guardiola himself missed the victory in the 3rd round of the FA Cup over Swindon last weekend because he tested positive for the virus.

When he discovered how many training sessions he had since completed, he was in a jovial mood: “One. This is good news for players! We’ll play great tomorrow, you’ll see.

“The plan has been fulfilled. We were in touch via Zoom. We’ve known each other for six years. With a single eye contact, we know exactly what to do.

“So no problem. Of course the players behaved well on Sunday. I came back as a manager, but when I’m not here, I don’t play, so it doesn’t matter in the end.”

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