Guardiola hopeful United focus on Europa

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he is hopeful Manchester United will focus on Europa League glory as the top-four race intensifies.

The Citizens moved in third place on the Premier League standings after thrashing Crystal Palace 5-0 at the Etihad on Saturday, moving ahead of Liverpool on goal difference and four ahead of the Red Devils in fifth place.

However, Jose Mourinho's side still hold a game in hand and have the opportunity of qualifying for the Champions League by winning the Europa League, which Guardiola eluded to – ahead of their rivals clash with Arsenal on Sunday.

With three rounds of fixtures left, the top-four places are still there for the taking and the former Barcelona head coach praised the competitiveness of the English top-flight as he first season with the Sky Blues nears it's end.

"There are four amazing teams fighting for the last two Champions League places," he told BBC Football. "It will be a big, big battle until the last game.

"Hopefully United can focus on the Europa League and forget a little bit about the Premier League and then next season we can have five English teams in the Champions League, which would be amazing.

"There is not another competition in the world with six strong teams fighting for one position – not in Spain nor Germany," the Spaniard added. "It is so clear that here, every season will be tougher and tougher to qualify for the Champions League.

"It is important to be in it for many reasons, to grow and to enjoy the big moments. We have got three games left and it is in our hands."