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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's Premier League title win his toughest in management

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has branded Manchester City retaining the Premier League title as the toughest of his nine major league triumphs.

City pipped Liverpool to the league crown by just one point following a 4-1 win at Brighton to conclude the greatest title battle in top-flight history.

Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan all hit the net as City stormed home at the Amex Stadium after Glenn Murray had given the Seagulls a shock 28th-minute lead.

City rattled off 14 successive victories to seal the title, with Guardiola then declaring his players and coaches are nowhere near satisfied.

"That is the toughest league that we've won, the Premier League, Germany, Spain, that's the toughest that we've won," said Guardiola.

"I'm not going to deny it is exhausting but winning is so addictive and now we have the chance to win the FA Cup and a treble.

"Then we have to make decisions for next season to come back strong. Liverpool will maintain and so we have to be better.

"Competitive people are never satisfied, it's never enough. We want more and more.

"And that's why the second one, to make it back to back, shows me this kind of thing. It shows me it wasn't enough (for the players), that one wasn't enough."

Murray headed Brighton into the lead to hand City a scare but that fright lasted just 83 seconds.

Aguero buried the visitors' first chance, and after Laporte headed in from a corner 10 minutes later, Guardiola's men never relented.

City have racked up 198 points across their consecutive title victories, with Guardiola claiming Liverpool's chase has driven his side to new levels this term.

Liverpool's 97-point haul would have won all but these last two league campaigns.

City's madcap celebrations included Oasis star Noel Gallagher belting out his classic hit Wonderwall with the squad in the dressing room.

Guardiola was keen for his players to enjoy the moment but then confirmed City will quickly refocus on completing that unprecedented domestic treble.

Adamant City will be ready for Saturday's FA Cup final against Watford, Guardiola joked his side still has weak points.

"Yes, there are weaknesses," he said. "I'm the tallest guy, so at set-pieces I must go to the church and pray. It's a trouble.

"No teams in England have done that before so we have to challenge, compete and be focused on this game. Of course, the FA Cup isn't easy to achieve to get to the final and we are going to try to win."

When asked if his side will go down as the best in English history, Guardiola simply said being in the conversation is all anyone can ask.

"When people suggest you can be one of the best that's enough," said Guardiola. "But we had this in Barcelona, too.

"If in 10, 15, 20 years people talk about this team, it's because we were good.

"Like books, movies, if they sustain the passage of time, if after 25 years people are watching the same movie, reading the same book.

"If people still talk about this team after that time, then it deserves to be considered alongside the best Man United, the best Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal."

Brighton boss Chris Hughton hailed City's iron will to drive to the title.

"We never go into any game feeling we're going to lose," said Hughton. "We know what we have to do to try to compete.

"At the moment it's a big gap that Liverpool and City have opened up but I don't worry about it because it changes.

"In two, three years' time it can be different.

"City are so clinical and they deserve their success."

Opta facts

  • Manchester City have won their fourth Premier League title – only Manchester United (13) and Chelsea (5) have ever won more in the competition.
  • Overall, Manchester City have won their sixth English top-flight title. They’re the first side to retain the title since Manchester United in 2008-09.
  • This was the eighth time the Premier League title has been decided on the final day of the season, with Manchester City winning it on three of those occasions (2011-12, 2013-14 and 2018-19).
  • Manchester City’s haul of 98 points is the joint-second highest for any team in English top-flight history (converting to three points for a win) – only the Citizens themselves have ever earned more (100 in 2017-18).
  • Manchester City conceded the first goal in a Premier League game for the first time since their 0-2 defeat at Chelsea in December – they were behind for just 83 seconds before Sergio Aguero’s equaliser.
  • Manchester City have won their last 14 Premier League games – only the Citizens themselves (18 in December 2017) have had a longer winning run in the competition.
  • Manchester City have won 32 Premier League games this season – equalling their own record in the competition from last season for most wins in a single campaign in the competition.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 32 goals in all competitions for Man City this season – only in 2016-17 (33) has he scored more in a single campaign for the Citizens.
  • Man City’s David Silva has provided 18 assists for Sergio Aguero in the Premier League – only three players have ever assisted another for more goals in the competition (Frank Lampard to Didier Drogba, Darren Anderton to Teddy Sheringham and Steve McManaman to Robbie Fowler).
  • Glenn Murray has scored 36% of Brighton’s overall Premier League goals (25/69), the highest proportion of any team’s goals in the competition’s history.

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Most Read Football

Romelu Lukaku
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