Manchester City advanced to the FA Cup final on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over second-tier Sheffield United at Wembley Stadium, after advancing to the Champions League semifinals with a 4-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich.
That victory came just a day after Arsenal threw away another point in the Premier League title race, drawing 3-3 at home to relegation-threatened Southampton, handing City the lead for the first time all season.
City is five points behind the Gunners at the top of the Premier League, but it has two games in hand, with the two teams facing off in a crucial title clash at the Etihad on Wednesday. Despite the fact that City are now only 12 games away from completing a treble, manager Pep Guardiola is refusing to get carried away.
“I’ll talk to you about it after we have won the FA Cup and Premier League.
Before the final of the Champions League we will start to talk of the treble. Look how far away it is. We are far, far away. How many times in this amazing country have Trebles been done? How many years? How many teams?
It is one. Once. Our neighbors did it in how many centuries? Am I excited about the treble? Not at all,”he told reporters after the FA Cup semifinal.
City has had an air of inevitability about them in recent weeks, as they have gone on a 16-game unbeaten run in all competitions, improving with each passing game.
Guardiola’s side has been scoring goals at will, led by the relentless Erling Haaland, whose 32 Premier League goals equal the record for a 38-game season with eight games remaining in the current season.
With the FA Cup final against Manchester United already on the schedule – a match City is expected to win on June 3 – Guardiola’s most difficult challenge this season is likely to be the Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid.
Coupled with what many believe is Guardiola’s proclivity to overthink strategies and tactics in big European matches, the Champions League two-leg semifinal, which takes place on May 9 and 17, is undoubtedly City’s most difficult remaining hurdle.