Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Guardiola: 'Perfect' send off for Zabaleta


"He has helped the club to where it is right now", City manager Pep Guardiola said on Monday, describing Zabaleta as "one of the most important players in the history of Manchester City".

"But if he asks me for advice I would tell him to stay - he's a great player".

Guardiola joined City on a three-year contract in July after leaving Bayern, and still has the full backing of club owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak.

"He did not score but he made two or three assists".

Aguero did not get on the scoresheet but was instrumental as City moved up to third in the Premier League while Zabaleta bade an emotional farewell to the Etihad Stadium.

So unless we go goal insane while winning the last two games against Sunderland and Everton, I see Man City as being the team to catch.

The result saw West Brom slip to ninth, continuing a dismal run that has seen them win just one of their last 11 games.

Jesus, with his sixth goal in seven league starts, and De Bruyne struck within two minutes of each other midway through the first half and Toure added the third just before the hour. ― Reuters picMANCHESTER, May 17 ― Pep Guardiola said Manchester City's home form must improve next season if they are to challenge for honours after they beat West Bromwich Albion in their last home game. "At the clubs I worked at before I am not here [for the following season], but here we have a second chance and we will try to do it better than this season".

"I am not getting any younger but I can play for two more years and have got offers from different countries. If I were Chelsea, they don't have to qualify for the Champions League, so it's our fault or it could be better, not because of the opponents".

With Zabaleta on for the final 30 minutes, City lost their intensity somewhat and sub Robson-Kanu was able to convert Allon Nyom's low cross on 87 minutes to register for the Baggies.

A tearful Zabaleta was honoured with a number of tributes after the game, including the presentation of a lifetime City season ticket.

"No - maybe you have more experience than me and can explain to me how it's more hard here than in Germany, Spain and Italy, " he said.

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