has insisted going a league season unbeaten “is not going to happen”, and said he directly told “that run is for him”.
His side drew 0-0 at to end their 18-match winning run but a late Ederson penalty save meant they still remain defeated. That keeps them on course to emulate ’s 2003/04 ‘Invincibles’, although Guardiola said he just isn’t thinking about that, because the intensity of playing in four competitions won’t allow it.
“That is not going to happen,” the Catalan asserted. “I am not thinking to be unbeaten. Maybe Arsene is worried about that but I tell him many times ‘2004, that run is for him’. Today is completely different to 2004. Here are now more strong teams, a lot of competitions, a lot of games. That is not going to happen. I try to win the game and especially focus on Watford.”
While Guardiola expressed relief at Ederson’s penalty save from Luka Milivojevic – and said he didn’t think ’s fall from a Raheem Sterling nudge was a dive – he said such incidents are inevitable from the intensity of the games, and that it means another unbeaten campaign is impossible.
“It was a good save in the last minute. They had another chance when Zaha crossed and Townsend hit it over,” Guardiola added. “We missed the last action but it is normal in a period of a lot of games, in the period where we are. People start to be tired.
“I have said many times we are going to lose games. We cannot stay in four competitions winning every three days at that intensity. We have problems with [Benjamin] Mendy and other injuries. John Stones was six weeks out. We recover well and try to keep mentally strong.
“We dropped two points today but we could have dropped against Huddersfield or Southampton. 18 wins in a row, that is not normal, unreal. We have set a new record in the . For the next team, that is what they have to beat. It will not be easy. We are in December and there are lot of fixtures to play. We need to play every game like we have in the past.”
Asked about the debate surrounding Zaha’s fall, Guardiola stated: “Zaha made an amazing action, dribbling two-against-one. I saw the image of Kevin De Bruyne on TV but I haven’t seen the penalty. If the referee says penalty, it’s a penalty.”