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Ibrahimovic: Guardiola fall out still motivates me

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has 26 goals to his name this season Credit: PA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says his falling out with Pep Guardiola at Barcelona still motivates him.

Guardiola brought Ibrahimovic to the Nou Camp in 2009 but the relationship between the pair broke down. Zlatan was then loaned to AC Milan after only a season before making the move permanent.

Jose Mourinho when he was in charge at Inter Milan with Pep Guardiola and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Barcelona Credit: PA

The Manchester United striker will be fired up when they travel to the Eithad Stadium next month to face Guardiola's Manchester City in the Premier League.

I learned from Barcelona, both on and off the pitch. I learned that in football any situation can change in 24 hours.

The problem wasn't with me, it was with him, and he never came to terms with it. I don't know what his problem was with me.

It is something that drives me, gives me adrenaline and extra motivation. It is normal after what has happened. I'm using it as a positive, not negative.

– Zlatan Ibrahimovic speaking with Fabio Capello on Fox Sports Italia

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Pep: 1-1 Liverpool draw one of greatest days of my career

Pep Guardiola hailed his City team for coming back to claim a point after James Milner's penalty put Liverpool ahead. Credit: PA

Pep Guardiola surprisingly hailed Manchester City's 1-1 draw at home with fourth-placed Liverpool as one of the greatest days of his career.

The low scoreline belied what was a pulsating incident-packed clash at the Etihad - though few would have placed it in the pantheon of greatest matches for the winner of 21 trophies with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Pep Guardiola lifting the DFB Cup after Bayern Munich's victory over Borussia Dortmund in 2016. Credit: PA

Yet Guardiola said it was his City side's response to the disappointment of the midweek exit from Europe that had given him such joy as a coach.

"This is one of the happiest days of my career as a manager," he said.

The Spanish coach celebrates Barcelona's 2009 Champions League victory over Manchester United in style. Credit: PA

"After our defeat in the Champions League, for two days we were so, so sad and in the training sessions we didn't talk too much.

"That is why I am so, so happy. They put absolutely everything that they had on the pitch."

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Man City starting to deliver for Guardiola

Man City head coach Pep Guardiola. Credit: PA

Pep Guardiola feels his Manchester City side have delivered much more of the brand of controlled football he demands in 2017.

City are unbeaten in four games since suffering a damaging 4-0 loss at Everton in January.

The sequence is much more reminiscent of the free-flowing attacking style that underpinned their 10-game winning start to the campaign than their disjointed form of the autumn.

Guardiola said: "When I see the first half against Swansea it is what I want. We monopolised the ball, we arrive six, seven, eight times to the byline.

"We did not create too many chances because it is so difficult with 10 players there and there was a big difference in the second half (performance) from the first, so we need more consistency.

"But since Tottenham at home, West Ham and Crystal Palace, I think we are more stable, we control more."

Man City boss Guardiola energised by 'amazing' FA Cup

Man City head coach Pep Guardiola (right) is smiling again. Credit: PA

Pep Guardiola has already been won over by the FA Cup… The Man City boss could have been forgiven for fielding a weakened team against West Ham as he chases glory in the Premier League and Europe.

But instead he strengthened his line-up, recalling Sergio Aguero and David Silva, and was rewarded with a thumping 5-0 win at the London Stadium.

And after his first taste of the world's oldest cup competition Guardiola could not hide his delight at reaching the fourth round.

"We were focused," he said. "In Spain the cup is completely different, it's almost impossible to be eliminated in the early rounds but here it's amazing.

"People spoke a lot before I came here about how important it is and that anything can happen.

"It's always fascinating and that match was like a final, you are either in or out. Now we are happy because we are in the draw."

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