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Premier League manager reaction: Pep Guardiola, Manuel Pellegrini, Graham Potter and more from the opening Saturday

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City boss thanks fans after the win over West Ham
Pep Guardiola: Manchester City boss thanks fans after the win over West Ham

A round-up of the post-match reaction following the opening Saturday of the Premier League season.


Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola enjoyed the result but not the performance as Manchester City opened their title defence with a 5-0 thrashing of West Ham.

"Was it the perfect start? In terms of result, yes. Performance, no!" said Guardiola.

"In the first half we were sloppy in our passing. But that's normal. It's the first game, away, it was hot, the rhythm was not there.

"The second half was better, more calm, extra passes, and after 3-0 the game was over. I cannot deny I'm so delighted for 5-0."

Manchester City celebrate Gabriel Jesus' opener against West Ham
Manchester City celebrate Gabriel Jesus' opener against West Ham

VAR intervened again after City were awarded a penalty, only for referee Mike Dean to be told to order a retake after Declan Rice was spotted encroaching.

Guardiola has, of course, been on the wrong end of VAR decisions in the recent past.

He said: "After what happened against Tottenham in the (Champions League) quarter-finals, we scored in 95th minute and we were there, 60,000 people were jumping, dancing, and one second later we'd lost because it was offside, I'm used to these situations. Nothing will be comparable to that.

"Saying that we have to be strong. After 3-0 the game is almost over, but at 2-0, 10 minutes later Ederson had to make an incredible save, and we'd have played the last 15 minutes at 2-1. So when that happens, after celebrating, you have to refocus."

Manuel Pellegrini

"In the first 45 minutes we played well, we didn't ever feel on the bench that City could score.

"We were very unlucky with the first goal and then City are more dangerous. We conceded the second goal too easily.

"After that we had a couple of chances to make it 2-1, but finally with space in the last minutes they scored their goals."

Mauricio Pochettino

"We started the game well but the first goal - long ball, crazy goal - that we conceded started to change everything. I think we were a little bit confused and that is my fault because I am the manager.

"In the second half we fixed this problem and everyone saw our positions were completely different. That helped the team to control the 45 minutes.

"I was more relaxed because we had the time to score and create chances, and win the game. It was very important for us to start the season with a victory."

Pochettino claimed there was nothing untoward about the absence of Jan Vertonghen, who is in the final year of his contract.

Pochettino said: "We have plenty of very good players in all positions. Of course we are only going to play with 11 in each game. We cannot play with 12 or 13.

"This is my sixth season, I think everyone knows me. I am going to play the players who I believe deserve to play. There is not any issue, only my decision was to play with Toby (Alderweireld) and Davinson."

Javi Gracia

The Watford boss insists there are "no excuses" after their 3-0 defeat to Brighton.

He said: "We need to improve.

"Maybe it is a good wake-up call for the rest of the season. It is the first game so we have a lot of time to improve. Today, no excuses.

"They played better than us, they deserved three points.

"We can improve. It's true the first two goals came from two individual mistakes. We have to improve these actions. All of us were disappointed today.

"I trust we will do better in the second game. We have time to analyse and improve."

Graham Potter

Graham Potter: New Brighton boss pictured in pre-season
Graham Potter: New Brighton boss made a winning start

The Brighton manager was delighted with his first Premier League victory.

"We're very happy with the result, with the performance I thought the players were fantastic.

"They tried their best to do what we asked them to do and we weren't perfect of course, I wouldn't expect that.

"But it was probably a reward for all the work the guys have done as a collective unit for the last few weeks.

"It was a positive day for us and a good start."

On Maupey's goal on his club debut, Potter added: "Nice for him to score. when we're away from home at these sort of places you need the goal to kill the game off.

"I thought he took his goal well and Florian took his goal well.

Brighton celebrate Neal Maupay's goal against Watford
Brighton celebrate Neal Maupay's goal against Watford

"It's great for the subs to come on and have an impact and be ready to help the team. They're professional guys, they're ready to come on and help the team."

When asked about Brighton's formation with three defenders, and the attacking style of football, Potter said: "We tried.

"We were brave at times, had some good opportunities to score again.

"We had to defend as well, survive the moments which you have to expect in a Premier League game.

"I'm delighted for the players."

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson praised the Crystal Palace fans for backing Wilfried Zaha during their opening-day draw with Everton despite the winger angling for a summer move away from Selhurst Park.

Zaha was a target for the Toffees, as well as Arsenal, during the transfer window and handed in a transfer request in the hopes of landing a move away from Palace.

Instead deadline day passed and Zaha remained at the club, coming off the bench during the goalless draw with 10-man Everton.

But his name rang around the stands on several occasions before he was introduced with 25 minutes remaining.

"He handled it very well but the crowd helped didn't they? It was such a great reception," Hodgson said.

"It was nice to have him available to give another dimension to our play. The two front players who started were exceptional but it was good to have him to bring on.

"I only saw him on Friday because I sent him on Thursday. But he was fine on Friday. He was excellent this morning, no problem at all as you can tell by watching the game.

"That situation has been and gone and Wilf will make certain he brings his straw to the water and helps us have a good season, just like he has done in the previous two seasons."

Marco Silva

The Everton boss felt an ankle injury to midfielder Andre Gomes may have been the moment his side lost their early dominance as his replacement - 23-year-old debutant Jean-Philippe Gbamin unable to fill the void.

"It was a competitive game, a tough game like we expected when you come to play here," he said.

"It was a very good first half for our team, we created enough chances to score more than once, it started in the first minute with Gylfi Sigurdsson and during that period we created clear chances with Seamus Coleman and Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) also.

"In the first half we were clearly the best team on the pitch, during that period was the key moment in the game in my opinion, was the injury to Andre Gomes.

"Until that moment we were solid and playing well and creating chances and then of course when I change and bring in Jean-Philippe Gbamin he had some problems.

"It is normal and you need to adapt when you sign new players and young players come to a new competition.

"It is always a problem and it was a key for us because we started losing easy balls during the second half and it was then when they created two chances to score from counter-attacks."

Chris Wilder

Wilder hailed Billy Sharp as 'Mr Sheffield United' after the striker stepped off the bench to grab a late leveller at Bournemouth.

"He was always going to come on when we you're chasing the game but I thought the contribution of all the players was outstanding," Blades boss Wilder said of 33-year-old Sharp.

"We were bold in terms of trying to get back in the game.

"We felt that it was coming and we were nice and bright on a free-kick. You're thinking, 'Who do you want floating about in that area?', it's Mr Sheffield United and I'm delighted for him.

"Disappointed to go behind but yet again not surprised by the way my team came roaring back. I think it was the right result.

"There is always going to be apprehension in our play, none of these boys have played at this level.

"When the bullets start flying on the first day, we have to get on with it and learn and quickly grow and I thought we did.

"It was important that today wasn't a sightseeing trip for us, it wasn't a day out, it wasn't, 'We've got to the Premier League so let's just enjoy it'," said Wilder.

"They (the fans) ambushed us on our walk through Bournemouth city centre this morning, all piled out of a boozer about 11 o'clock, so that was a bit of an experience for some of the boys.

"Delighted for them and everybody connected to the football club, it's been a long time that they've been out of the division."

Eddie Howe

The Bournemouth boss admitted his team were below par but felt they should have held on to their narrow lead.

Howe, who handed a debut to former Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale ahead of experienced options Artur Boruc and Asmir Begovic, said: "Really frustrated because we didn't play at our best today, I think we are well aware of that but we had the lead.

"We'd fought really hard to get that lead and we just didn't get over the line - small details have cost us today.

"I wouldn't say we've switched off from the free-kick because I think we were alert but we just didn't make the right decisions with our positioning and we paid the price.

"It's not the ideal start for us, we'd hoped to perform better and to win.

"But you have to take what you are given and take your lessons and learn from it quickly."

Sean Dyche

Ashley Barnes scores his first against Southampton
Ashley Barnes scores his first against Southampton

The Burnley manager praised 'older and wiser' Ashley Barnes after he began the season with two goals in a convincing win against Southampton.

Dyche said: "He doesn't go under the radar here, with what we think of him, what the players think of him, what the fans think of him. Knowing Barnsey, I don't think he'd be that bothered. He's not bothered about much.

"You learn the game the older you get, the wiser you get. He's become not as affected so easily.

"He hadn't scored in pre-season but you saw by his performance he didn't look like a striker that hadn't scored, he wasn't snatching at things. His finish is excellent and I think that kind of mental resilience grows year on year the more you play at the highest level."

Ralph Hasenhuttl

The Saints boss revealed he had to make a late reshuffle after captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg came down with sickness during the bus journey to the ground.

"At the last minute we had to change a few things but I think it was not the reason because the first 60 minutes was OK," said the Austrian.

"I think we equalised the game against a team that is really not giving us a lot of chances to win balls early."

"In the second half one long ball and one bad timing, I don't know why the centre-back's missed his ball, then suddenly you're one down. What happens then, the next 12 minutes, was not acceptable.

"We must be more focused on our way and we lost it completely. And then this game is gone. It's a very disappointing start for us."

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