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Guardiola: It was a perfect night for Pablo

Pep Guardiola hailed Man City’s 3-1 win over West Brom as the ideal send-off for the departing Pablo Zabaleta.

The Argentine, who will call time on a nine-year career with the Club at the end of the season, played his final game at the Etihad Stadium in the victory over the Baggies, having come off the bench on the hour mark.

Reflecting on an emotional night, Guardiola was delighted Zabaleta received the heartfelt farewell he deserved.

“It was a perfect night for Pablo,” he declared. “I saw the impact he has on this Club.

“I saw women cry on the videos! He put his heart on the field. It was a perfect night for him and his family.

“He is a legend – like Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero… He came and made the Club special.

"Seeing Pablo and his family, I have to be very grateful to the Club for his treatment. This Club is so special. Pablo got the farewell that he deserved."

Guardiola was also pleased with his team’s collective performance and hopes to see similar displays more often next season.

“We played well against a strong, physical team,” he analysed. “We conceded just two corners and two free-kicks.

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“We created a lot of chances, conceded one and scored the goals we deserved.

“We had the game in our hands. Every time we lost the ball, we were there to win it back and attack again.

“They arrived [in the box] once and scored a goal; we arrived a lot and only scored three. I’m pretty sure we will improve on that next season.

“Our season at home was not good. We finished the last three games well but the reason why we didn’t fight until the end for the title is because we dropped points.

“Hopefully, next season it will happen more.

The manager also reserved praise for the performances of captain Kompany and top scorer Aguero.

“Vincent Kompany played amazing and Sergio did too,” he stated.

“He didn’t score today but he helped us to make assists. You have to play a lot as the striker.

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“I think Sergio has the quality – not just to score goals but to create space behind the defenders. He has the quality to make the pass as well. I’m so, so happy with him.

“He made the assist for the first goal and he combined with Yaya Toure for the third goal. He played amazing.”

City need a point in their final game of the season – Sunday’s trip to Watford – to guarantee a Champions League spot for next season.

Guardiola insists however his side are looking to finish the campaign with a flourish.

“We travel to London to secure third position,” he added.

“I will not say it is done but Arsenal have to score a lot.

“The win over West Brom was good to play in the Etihad Stadium with a victory.

“We want another good performance to finish third, securing a direct route to the Champions League.”

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