Kevin De Bruyne continues to talk down Manchester City’s quadruple prospects despite admitting that achieving it would make them the greatest.
City won the first of the four trophies they are in contention for this season as they beat Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
With Liverpool also missing the chance to move three points clear at the top of the Premier League, the odds on City completing an unprecedented clean sweep have shortened.
But asked if City could do it, midfielder De Bruyne said it would be “almost impossible”.
He added: “We are going to try to win as many games as possible, obviously, to do it and if you do that you must be considered the best team ever because nobody has done it.
“However, we are not looking at that. We want to win as much as possible. We are not thinking about the quadruple.
“If we win three and then we play the Champions League final maybe we can talk about it but before that – no way.”
City’s latest trophy – their fourth League Cup triumph in six seasons – came via a penalty shootout after a drab clash ended goalless after 120 minutes.
The main talking point was an extraordinary incident late in extra time when Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, to the fury of manager Maurizio Sarri, refused to be substituted.
The Spaniard had required treatment twice in the latter stages and Chelsea had a penalty specialist in Willy Caballero – who saved three spot-kicks for City in the 2016 final – ready to come on.
“I don’t know what happened,” said De Bruyne, a former Chelsea player.
“Luckily we don’t have to be busy with that. I wouldn’t want it to happen on my team.”
De Bruyne had already been substituted when the penalties came round. Kepa saved from Leroy Sane but City prevailed 4-3 as Ederson denied Jorginho and David Luiz hit the post. Raheem Sterling hit the winning spot-kick.
City had thrashed Chelsea 6-0 when the sides met at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight previously but the Londoners put up a much sterner fight this time.
De Bruyne said: “As professionals you don’t want to do what happened two weeks ago. They’re a very good team. I know they’re having a tough time but they showed they can play pretty good football.
“They defended more than they did before. They didn’t really press like they normally do. They sat back a little bit more. It was more difficult to create chances but that’s just the way it is.
“You don’t have to go in the trap and put so many bodies up front. In the end you need to win it and it doesn’t matter which way.”
City, who are also on course for the Champions League quarter-finals and play in the FA Cup last eight next month, resume their title defence against West Ham on Wednesday.
“We are here to fight for all the competitions,” said striker Sergio Aguero.
“Obviously the Champions League isn’t easy but we we are going to try to at least go as far as possible. And then with the Premier League we are (up) there.”
On the downside for City, Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte could both face spells on the sidelines after being withdrawn with injuries.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.