MANCHESTER, England — Pep Guardiola thanked staff who work at Manchester City with a champagne lunch at the club’s Etihad Campus on Wednesday after their Carabao Cup final win over Arsenal, sources have told ESPNFC.
Employees from all areas of the club were invited to the club’s canteen, where the trophy — Guardiola’s first since he took over at the club — was on show.
Sources said that Guardiola gave a short speech thanking them for their contribution to helping win the competition and told staff that they are intent on claiming more silverware, with the Premier League seen as the most important title.
Other officials from the club were also at the reception, including Omar Berrada, City’s chief operating officer, who gave a short speech and toast.
Guardiola’s team are currently 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand, which they play on Thursday night against Arsenal.
The Spaniard said at a news conference that his players must quickly put their Wembley Stadium triumph behind them as the visit to the Emirates Stadium will not be easy.
“Arsenal is always a hard game and when they play, they are a tough, tough, tough team in the Emirates,” he said. “Maybe they were not consistent enough, but at home, they were so strong. I don’t know how many points they dropped but not too much. The times I have always been there with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City, it’s always tough.
“All the titles I won with my people, always the league is the most difficult because it shows a lot. The Carabao Cup you win, but two rounds [with penalty shootouts], you can be out. That is one coin, sometimes good, sometimes not.
“But the league is not. The league is consistency. The players know that. They know exactly how important the league is for our whole future. Of course, we have to be focused. We were always focused during the season, but you know how tough it will be until the end of the season.”
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.