'It was tough for many reasons': Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after victory over Brighton

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Brighton's 'well organised' defence made it difficult for his side in their FA Cup semi-final win.

Saturday, 6th April 2019, 10:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th April 2019, 1:42 am
Pep Guardiola. Picture courtesy of Getty Images

City progressed to the final with a narrow 1-0 win thanks to an early Gabriel Jesus header, but The Seagulls settled into the game and the floodgates never opened.

Albion pushed for an equaliser in the second half and when asked if he was worried at any point, Guardiola said: "In the first 10, 15 minutes yes but after that we conceded only one shot on target.

"It was a semi-final, Brighton are an incredible defensive team, we knew that set pieces were huge, massive. They stood tall and were well organised. We conceded too many but only one dangerous situation. We are in the final, we are there.

"It was tough for many reasons but we are happy to be in the final."

In the game's only real contentious moment, City defender Kyle Walker escaped a red card after appearing to put his head into the face of Alireza Jahanbakhsh during a heated first half exchange.

Commenting on the incident, which Brighton boss Chris Hughton said should have been a red card, Guardiola said: "I didn't see it. I took him off because of a hamstring problem [not because he was booked]. He could not run."

Guardiola also played down talk of City winning an unprecedented quadruple.

He said: "It is almost impossible to win the quadruple. Surviving in that stage of the competitions is already a miracle. That is why it is incredible what these players have done last season when you achieve 100 points.

"The year after when you have the tendency to be arrogant, still we are there.

"That’s why it’s incredible what these players have done. Every game we lose players but that is normal when you play a lot of games. We are going to try until the end of every game."