"Otherwise ..."

Why Guardiola sank to the ground stunned

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15.05.2024 13:26

Coach Pep Guardiola sank to the ground stunned during Manchester City's 2-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur. The reason for this was a brilliant save by substitute German goalkeeper Stefan Ortega. "He saved us - otherwise Arsenal would be champions," said Guardiola after the final whistle.

Two points ahead going into the final round: In the Premier League, everything is set for Manchester City's fourth league title in a row. Guardiola then drew a comparison with tennis. His players would "serve to win Wimbledon" on Sunday. The prestigious grass-court tennis tournament takes place in England every year. "But the last match is always the most difficult," Guardiola emphasized to the BBC. The league leaders host West Ham United in the final round, while rivals Arsenal host Everton at the same time (17:00 CEST). "We were happy in the dressing room, but everyone is aware that the job is not done yet, it will still be tough," said the Spaniard.

Man City want to make history
A win is necessary to secure the championship on their own, as a draw and a simultaneous win for Arsenal would mean the Gunners would have the better goal difference. Man City's success would be historic, as no team had previously managed to finish top of the league four times in a row. It would be title number six in the last seven years for Guardiola's side.

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He saved us - otherwise Arsenal would be champions. One-on-one, Stefan is one of the best goalkeepers I've ever seen in my life.

Pep Guardiola über Stefan Ortega

Goalscoring crown to Haaland
The defending champions, unbeaten in 22 league games, had Erling Haaland to thank for their rosy starting position. The ex-Salzburg striker converted a cross from Kevin de Bruyne in the 51st minute and made it all clear in stoppage time (91') with a converted penalty after a foul on Jeremy Doku. With 27 goals in 30 league games, the Norwegian is once again a guarantee of success this season. With this haul, he is once again sure of the top scorer crown.

Ortega has a great day - Guardiola stunned
But it wasn't just Haaland who shone on Tuesday; much more surprisingly, a German goalkeeper took center stage in the shape of Stefan Ortega, who had to replace Ederson in the 69th minute due to eye problems. The 31-year-old saved his team from an equalizer with several saves in his eighth league appearance of the season. One save in particular by Ortega in the closing stages sent Guardiola and the City fans into meltdown.

"He saved us - otherwise Arsenal would be champions"
After Manuel Akanji lost the ball, the South Korean Son Heung-min ran alone towards goal, but City's number two made a great save. Guardiola clutched his head on the touchline and even lay on the stadium pitch in bewilderment after the scene. "He saved us - otherwise Arsenal would be champions. One-on-one, Stefan is one of the best goalkeepers I've ever seen in my life," said Guardiola. After four attempts without points at Spurs, there was once again a real reason to celebrate.

Tottenham now have no chance of a Champions League place, which Aston Villa were able to enjoy in fourth place. Coach Unai Emery's team won the European Champions Cup, the predecessor to the Champions League, in 1982, but had not been represented in the most important European Cup competition since their subsequent quarter-final appearance in 1983.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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