Pep Guardiola has apologized to Steven Gerrard after mentioning the infamous slip that cost Liverpool the Premier League title during Manchester City’s passionate defense last week.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Guardiola quipped that he “didn’t know if we were responsible for Steven Gerrard’s slip” as he defended City following the allegations leveled against the club by the Premier League.
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But in another press conference held on Tuesday, Guardiola publicly apologized to Gerrard and revealed that he had apologized during a private conversation with the former Liverpool captain.
“I apologize to Steven Gerrard for my unnecessary and stupid comments I made last time about him,” Guardiola said.
“He knows how much I admire him and his career and what he has done for this country where I live and train. I’m ashamed of myself for what I said because he doesn’t deserve it.
“I truly believe my comments in defense of my club but I did not represent my club well by putting their name to these stupid comments.
“I apologize, I told him personally, but I’m commenting publicly and I have to do it here too. I feel so sorry for him, Alex’s wife, his kids and his family because it was stupid.”
Guardiola is preparing his players for a top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday.
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Arsenal, managed by former City assistant Mikel Arteta, are without a win in their last three games but Guardiola said they remain the best team in the Premier League.
“We felt it in the FA Cup,” he added. “They’re the best team in the league right now. They’re committed, sharp and everything. It’s going to be a big, big battle. We should be ready.
“It’s important because we can get the points against the best team in the league, but then Nottingham Forest, then the Champions League. A lot of things can happen. The aim is to be there in the last eight to ten games.”
City are still sweating over Erling Haaland’s fitness after the striker was substituted at half-time during Sunday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
Haaland, who has 31 goals this season, has not been ruled out of the trip to Arsenal but is considered a doubt.
“We are training this afternoon,” Guardiola said. “Yesterday [Monday] was it a recovery day; that’s all.”