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Guardiola challenges champions City to make history with treble

Pep Guardiola

London, May 13: Pep Guardiola urged Manchester City to breach new ground and wrap up a domestic treble after sealing back-to-back Premier League titles with a 4-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

City fell behind to a Glenn Murray header at the Amex Stadium, where they needed a win to be sure of finishing ahead of Liverpool.

But Sergio Aguero embellished his reputation for providing vital final-day contributions by hitting a quickfire equaliser before Aymeric Laporte gave the visitors a half-time lead.

Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan were then on target from outside the box to get the title party started, with City securing first place and a total of 98 points – one clear of Jurgen Klopp's men, who beat Wolves 2-0.

Results | Points table

Following their EFL Cup win in February, City face an FA Cup final against Watford next weekend in the knowledge that no team has ever completed a clean sweep of English football's three major honours.

"No teams in England have done it before. We have the chance. We have to be focused on this game," said the City boss.

"The FA Cup is not an easy title to achieve or get to the final. We are going to a majestic stadium at Wembley to win it."

City registered a record-breaking haul of 100 points last season, before matching their number of 32 wins from 38 this time around.

Asked whether this meant City should be considered the finest Premier League team of all time, Guardiola – a three-time league champion with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich – insisted it would only be right to judge when time allows a historical perspective to be taken.

"I always have this theory, it was the same in Barcelona – when I was there, it was the best team ever or whatever," he said.

"If in 10, 15, 20 years people talk about this team it is because we are a really good team. It is like the books, like the movies when they sustain the passage of time. After 25 years the people watch the same movie or read the same book [if it is good].

"If in 15, 20 years people say there was one period, these guys did a lot of points, but they played really well, that is because we deserve to be alongside the biggest Man United, the biggest Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal. I think now is not the time."

Guardiola reflected on the mentality that has helped his team back up their efforts from last term – a quality that will be called upon again for their imminent Wembley assignment.

"The big competitors are never satisfied," he added. "The feeling is never enough.

"In tennis, the big athletes, in basketball, in golf they want more and more. That is why the second one, winning back-to-back, showed me that this kind of thing.

"It showed me what they had done with 100 points was not enough. It could be enough but we did it [got better]. That's why we are champions."

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Story first published: Monday, May 13, 2019, 1:10 [IST]
Other articles published on May 13, 2019
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