Soccer-Man City players on two-day chill-out, says Guardiola

Soccer Football - FA Cup - Semi Final - Manchester City v Chelsea - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - April 20, 2024 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

(Reuters) - Manchester City players are "in the fridge" for two days as they try to deal with the demands of a packed fixture schedule, manager Pep Guardiola said ahead of their next Premier League game.

City, seeking their fourth league title in a row, are third on 71 points, two behind Arsenal and Liverpool with a game in hand ahead of their trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday.

City, the only side of the four FA Cup semi-finalists who played in midweek, ground out a 1-0 semi-final win over Chelsea on Saturday with leading scorer Erling Haaland missing out due to fatigue.

Guardiola criticised the 72-hour recovery time his team had following Wednesday's penalty shootout defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.

"They are in the fridge for two days," Guardiola said of his players. "Don't see each other, stay at home with your families. Try to rest, nothing special.

"Two days to prepare for Brighton and (Nottingham) Forest (on Sunday). One game at a time," he added.

Guardiola dismissed any talk of boycotting the media due to his frustrations over the schedule.

"I always attend the media because I represent this institution," he said.

"I've always done it and will always do it but if they ask for extra then I don’t have time. If you put me in (before) a game every three days then the managers have a lot to do."

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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