After brushing aside Stoke City 2-0 Monday night to restore their 16-pont advantage, Manchester City have the tantalising prospect of claiming the Premier League crown with a home win over rivals Manchester United.
Playmaker David Silva scored two magnificent goals as runaway leaders City moved a step closer to their first league title under Pep Guardiola.
The team’s supporters certainly had the idea of rubbing salt into United’s wounds with a party at The Etihad as they sang several songs about arch-rivals United and their manager Jose Mourinho during Monday’s 2-0 win at Stoke City.
But Guardiola wants to keep such a scenario out of his mind with the quarterfinals of the Champions League imminent.
“We want to be (Premier League) champions… but, believe me, before and after United we have (the Champions League) quarterfinals and at that moment it is the most important thing, focusing on the quarterfinals,” said Guardiola
“I understand for the fans, OK, but the important thing is to be champions. When, where, it doesn’t matter.”
Skipper Vincent Kompany, who won the Premier League with City in 2012 and 2014, certainly understands the emotion that would be generated by winning the title by beating United.
“Everybody on the ‘Blue’ side of Manchester knows it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.
“It’s that time of year – every single win brings you one step closer to your goal,” he added.
City left for the airport after the Stoke game with a break in the club’s owner’s homeland awaiting them.
And for Pep, he just wants the title sealed.
“To be champions is tough, it’s complicated. Our club does not have a history of a lot of titles. As soon as possible will be better but now we can be relaxed, the players go away with their international teams. It doesn’t matter where we win it”.