Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City pitch invasion was 'beautiful thing' says Pep Guardiola

Man City 5 Swansea 0

By Rory Dollard

Pep Guardiola was happy to share Manchester City's Premier League triumph with a pitch full of fans, describing the celebratory invasion as "a beautiful thing".

City were confirmed as champions on their day off last weekend and played the part with aplomb at the Etihad Stadium, hammering struggling Swansea 5-0 in a dominant display.

David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Silva all hit the target, taking City to 90 points and 98 goals for the season.

Once the full-time whistle blew, hundreds of supporters raced onto the field to take in the moment - an act that is likely to attract the attention of the Football Association.

The governing body charged Wigan after fans flooded on to the DW Stadium pitch following their FA Cup win over City earlier this season but, while that scene turned ugly, this appeared to be a harmonious occasion.

Asked about the potential for disciplinary action, Guardiola said: "No problem. Football is an emotional game. I understand you have to be careful, but when they feel they want to share that they are happy. It is better they stay where they should stay, but I'm not going to tell them don't do that.

"If they are happy I like them to be close with the team. They show how happy they are and that is the most beautiful thing we can live as professionals, as a manager and football players.

"Just arriving on the bus, the way people look at us and celebrate in the stadium and jump. I'm sorry, that's good. It's time to celebrate. I'm not going to tell anybody don't enjoy it."

Guardiola sounded a solitary tongue-in-cheek note of caution with two home games still to play against Huddersfield and Brighton.

"Save the grass. We need the pitch for the future," he said.

City's comprehensive win kept them on target for a hat-trick of Premier League records.

With four games remaining they need six more goals, six more points and two more wins to set new marks for all three.

"Football is never a finished business, always you have something to improve. More wins, more goals whatever the records, if it helps the players to be focused it's good," he said.

"In football you have to play for something.

"The Premier League is done, now it's numbers.

"The performance is the most important thing."

Swansea sit just one place above the relegation zone, but have a four point buffer over Southampton and Stoke.

The lights went out during manager Carlos Carvalhal's post-match press conference but he insisted the same was not true of their season.

"Zero. Absolutely zero," he said of the impact this result would have on the next four games.

"Fourteen teams lose at Manchester City this season, we are 15. It is nothing out of the normal this season.

"All the numbers put them at a level and we are not playing in this level. They achieve spaces other teams will not achieve."

Belfast Telegraph

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