Manchester City Official
·14 January 2022
Manchester City Official
·14 January 2022
Pep Guardiola believes the consistency shown by City and Liverpool in recent seasons has raised the standard needed to be Premier League champions.
The two teams have battled the title race out regularly over the past four seasons, registering remarkable points tallies along the way.
This season has seen a three-way tussle emerge, with City, Liverpool and Chelsea battling for supremacy, though Guardiola's defending champions have pulled 10 points clear in recent weeks after a run of 11 straight wins.
And ahead of Saturday's game against Chelsea at the Etihad, Guardiola reiterated his belief that City and Liverpool have upped the standard required to be champions of England, a challenge Thomas Tuchel's side have risen to.
“Well, when I was at Barcelona it was always Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid but not like they are after (I left)," he said.
"Always it was Barcelona and Madrid. At Bayern it was Dortmund and here the last years was Liverpool and ourselves.
"Now it’s Chelsea this season but that’s because Liverpool and Manchester City were exceptional, not because the others were doing wrong.
"United was close I remember one year with Mourinho and last season especially with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they were really good but we were exceptional.
"What Liverpool and Manchester City has done in last three or four years has never before been seen before in this country, never ever.
"Now it’s more than 90 points [needed] to be champions, before it was 78, 80, 82, 86, 87. I think Antonio Conte with Chelsea started it a little bit when they won the league in my first season here but after, Liverpool and City made a step [forward].
"And I think they did well the other opponents - Chelsea, United, Tottenham - but Liverpool and City were out of this world.
"And I’m proud after six seasons together or five years of success, in January we are still there in every single game competing.
"I repeat many times, what happened after being Champion, the next season of the last 10 champions, they drop, but drop massively and we are there, and that’s incredible credit."
Guardiola says the consistency his players have shown over the past five seasons has been remarkable.
City are the only side to retain the Premier League title during the last 12 years - and have won three of the last four available.
And the boss says he could not be prouder of his squad.
"Credit to these exceptional players but my job is to put my words behind them and tell them the truth, that’s why we have to continue to do it," he said.
“The fact we’re here is because we were consistent in the toughest months when there are many games and how we overcame the tough situations with injuries and COVID and got results when we played well.
“And when we didn’t play good - like against Arsenal - we still win. But my opinion about Liverpool or Chelsea doesn’t change one instant for the fact right now it’s just in January.
“They are more than excellent teams. One is winner of the Champions League the other the biggest rival of the last three seasons and they maintain the quality.
“If you then tell me one month ago we would be in this position, I’d say impossible, I couldn’t expect them to drop points and the situation and problems we had a month ago being in that position, but it changes so quick, always I remember we were 4-0 at half-time and then 20 minutes later it was 4-3 against Leicester.
“What you have to do is increase a bit our football comparing the last two games we played and tomorrow we have to do it if we want to compete against this team.”
It's a football feast of City action on Saturday 15 January!
City fans can savour FOUR games in one day with our men’s, women’s Elite Development Squad and Under-18s teams all in action throughout a thrilling nine-and-a-half hours of the beautiful game.
And you can follow all of the action live on our official Man City digital platforms.
Liverpool U18s v City U18s in the PL U18. Kick off at 11:00 LIVE on CITY+
Aston Villa v City in the WSL. Kick off at 12:30
City v Chelsea in the Premier League. Kick off at 12:30
City EDS v Manchester United U23s in PL2. Kick off at 19:30 LIVE on CITY+
CITY+ subscribers can watch live coverage of our U18s’ trip to Liverpool at 11:00 (UK), as well as the Manchester Derby between our EDS and United’s U23s at 19:30.
And look out for highlights of our WSL game at Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders host Chelsea and you won’t miss a beat.
Minute-by-minute text updates get under way in our Matchday Centre at 10:30 (UK), whilst our Matchday Live show starts one hour before kick-off.
Presenter Natalie Pike will be joined in the studio by Shaun Goater and David James, who will be providing the usual mix of analysis and entertainment before the game begins.
Our guests will also be answering fans’ questions throughout the show and you can get involved by sending a WhatsApp to +447537186538.
They’ll reconvene at half-time and to share their thoughts on the opening 45-minutes and again after the full-time whistle for an in-depth debrief, which will include reaction from Pep Guardiola and a player.
During the game, you can enjoy live audio commentary in the Matchday Centre, as Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison guide you through the 90-minutes.
And, once the final whistle sounds, the app is the best place to relive all the action.
Highlights of the game will be made available for free at 17:45 and CITY+ subscribers can watch a full 90-minute replay of the game at midnight.
The best way to follow Manchester City is by downloading the official app!
Don’t forget to turn push notifications on, that way you’ll get reminders of everything as the day unfolds.
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