Premier League: Perfect 10 for Manchester City, but manager Pep Guardiola still not impressed
The perfectionist in Pep Guardiola forbids him to get remotely carried away by Manchester City's 100 percent record this season, even though they made it 10 wins out of 10 under their new Spanish manager on Saturday
The perfectionist in Pep Guardiola forbids him to get remotely carried away by Manchester City's 100 percent record this season, even though they made it 10 wins out of 10 under their new Spanish manager on Saturday.
Raheem Sterling, who scored in the 3-1 win at Swansea City that stretched their lead at the top to four points, made a telling post-match observation about the insatiable nature of Guardiola's stewardship. "He is not overly excited by this," explained the England striker, one of many players to have flourished since Guardiola took over at the Etihad. "His team talks and motivation are very good. He is a manager who demands more in every game. He makes everyone hungry and wanting to keep running for him."
To illustrate Sterling's point, Guardiola was quick afterwards to qualify his evident delight by saying that he expects more, even from star striker Sergio Aguero, who scored twice to make it a sixth successive league win. "Sergio is quality. His first step and second step in the box are so good, that's why he is one of the best strikers in the world," Guardiola conceded. "But I want to help him improve his game."
Guardiola is improving everyone's game at City, it appears, so that even on a day when they were not at their silky best, his men still had far too much quality for Swansea. Aguero had fired them ahead before Fernando Llorente's equaliser suggested it might prove an awkward afternoon for the leaders, who had been too wasteful for Guardiola's liking.
"We missed a lot of final passes and that happened a lot of times in the first half," he noted. "You have to win the ball, use the ball and use the counter attack. It is the first time we have been at 1-1 at half-time and we spoke of how we had to be like a team and in the second half we played really well." His words evidently worked wonders.
Aguero scored from the spot in the 65th minute following Mike van der Hoorn's elbow on Kevin de Bruyne and Sterling scored a fine third in the 77th after a typically swift, incisive counter.
It meant Guardiola became only the second manager to win his first six Premier League matches, joining Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian went on to win the title with Chelsea after his brilliant start in 2009-10.
The only thing to cloud Guardiola's day was an injury to De Bruyne, who limped off with what an apparent hamstring problem. He will be assessed on Sunday as the manager ponders his squad for Wednesday's Champions League match at Celtic.
The move appears to form part of a rebuilding process at the north London side, with Belgium defender Alderweireld leaving despite having two years left on his contract.
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Liverpool surrendered the Premier League title to Manchester City after major injuries to Van Dijk and several other defenders.
The Norwegian, who took over from Jose Mourinho in 2018, will stay at Old Trafford until at least 2024, with the option of an extra year.