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Guardiola admits it’s time to ‘focus’ on the Premier League after wrapping up UCL qualification

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits it is time to focus on the Premier League after the club secured their qualification to the Champions League knockout stages with a game to spare.

Despite a below-par performance at the Etihad on Tuesday night, City’s 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk coupled with Atlanta’s win over Dinamo Zagreb sealed the club’s place in the last-16, Guardiola’s side advancing to the knockout stages as winners of Group C.

Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring in what was a subdued performance from the Premier League champions, only to see substitute Manor Solomon come off the bench to equalise for the Ukrainian visitors.

Following the result Guardiola was pleased to see his side wrap up qualification, and says the club’s focus must now turn to the Premier League and the trip to Newcastle United on Saturday lunchtime, as the champions look to close the gap on league leaders Liverpool.

“We qualify and we played well in the second half. The second half was better than the first. We conceded only a few counter attacks,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“I’ve played against Shakhtar Donetsk many times and they always have quality players. In general, we created chances but the draw was enough in the end. Now we have one competition already done, and now our focus will be the Premier League, until we arrive in the cups. The target was to qualify and we have done it.”

Read: Gundogan admits Man City struggled against Shakhtar

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