Manchester City: Pep Guardiola says football is not a 'special day any more'

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola watched his side cruise past Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday

Football is no fun any more for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

City beat Burnley 5-0 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday to record their biggest win of the season and only their second on home soil.

Yet Guardiola could not take full satisfaction from the triumph.

It was City's 29th consecutive game without fans in the stadium and it will be at least five more before that changes, when the Blues go to Southampton on 19 December.

Even then, there will only be 2,000 present at St Mary's Stadium. And while there are tentative plans to have a similar number at Etihad Stadium for Newcastle's visit on 26 December, should Greater Manchester be dropped from Tier Three to Tier Two when current restrictions are looked at again on 16 December, the slog of this season is sapping the pleasure away for Guardiola.

"Football was a joy when we played every three days in a routine, the players came here to the stadium and we had the spectators," he said.

"Now it is not a special day any more. What's next? Go here, go here, go here….Of course the players want to do it. It is incredible how they run but not with joy for the situation.

"It's like all the people and families around the world. You don't go to restaurants, you don't go out. Even journalists, you cannot go to the press conference and see your friends, you are at home working and it is different.

"Football is not an exception. We go, we play and that is all."

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