No Arteta update from Guardiola after Manchester City ease past Oxford
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was unable to provide an update on the future of assistant coach Mikel Arteta after a 3-1 win over Oxford in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
A Raheem Sterling double sent the Premier League champions into the last four of the competition for a third straight season.
Talk ahead of the fixture centred on Arteta, who is understood to be close to becoming Arsenal’s new head coach.
He was alongside Guardiola in the dugout at Kassam Stadium and the City manager could not shed any light on who will be Unai Emery’s successor at the Emirates despite reports insisting it will be his number two.
“There was no change. I don’t have any news,” he said. “We prepared the game as best as possible. Before, during and now after and we did it.
“I spoke yesterday, my press conference I had 48 questions and 35 were about Mikel so I don’t have to say anything more until there is news. When there is news, in my next (press) conference when you ask me something I will answer.”
City boss Guardiola was complimentary about Karl Robinson’s side, who pushed the holders close on a wet and windy night in Oxford.
When Matty Taylor cancelled out Joao Cancelo’s first-half opener a mere 21 seconds into the second period, the hosts dreamed of an upset, but Sterling ruined those hopes as he tapped home Angelino’s cross in the 50th minute.
He added another from Gabriel Jesus’ centre 20 minutes later, but the U’s did not let it deter them and missed several late chances to set up a grandstand finish.
Guardiola added: “They are a top side, I said to Karl. Last season they played good, this season they were even better so maybe next season they will be back?
“It’s a typical cup competitions here in England. In this period, they are always really tough.
“We made a lot of changes and the young players that played were really good and the others who played were good.”
Oxford paid tribute to Jim Smith on the night, with a picture of the club’s late manager on the programme cover and a minute’s applause also taking place.
He guided the U’s into the First Division in 1985 but died earlier this month.
Robinson said: “He built a club with next to nothing and put us in a position at the top of English football.
“It has been a difficult 27 or 28 years to find ourselves slipping down. I am sure everyone at Oxford United deeply misses him. Our love and our thoughts and wishes go out to his family and dearest friends.
“Hopefully he is looking down and the family were watching and we dedicate that performance to him.
“It had everything he believes in. We loved what we did, we ran around, we showed heart, desire and commitment and entertained and that is all you can ever ask so hopefully we did him proud.”
City will face Manchester United in a two-legged semi-final next month.