Pep Guardiola pinpoints September victory over Chelsea as moment Manchester City knew they would win title
The City boss is celebrating a title win in his second season in charge, but Guardiola has admitted he began believing his side were champions six months ago.
Guardiola believes a 1-0 win over Chelsea in September proved to his players that were going to be able to lift the Premier League trophy.
I think winning at Stamford Bridge gave us the confidence, said Guardiola.
Because last season against contenders we were not so good. We won few games. Winning at Stamford Bridge gave us a feeling of, “OK, against the last champions, we are able to come here and play.”
But in general we were so, so stable (this season). We concede goals, but the most important details is not the goals you concede but the chances you concede and every game was few, despite playing so offensively.
And OK, Sergio (Aguero) is a genius, a top player about 30 years old but the other guys are 20, 21 years old, so we won with guys so young.
Playing in the Champions League at that age, sometimes it is complicated. But maybe it will be a lesson for the future for them and next season.
The win over Chelsea was part of a remarkable 18-game unbeaten streak in the league that was only stopped by Liverpool in January.
Manchester City 2017/18 Fixtures
Swansea City (H) – Sun April 22
West Ham (A) – Sun April 29
Huddersfield City (H) – Sun May 6
Brighton & Hove Albion (H) – Wed May 9
Southampton (A) – Sun May 13
Just two sides in the league have been able to beat City this season, and Guardiola now has his sights set on successfully defending the title.
City have never been able to retain the title.
We have to try, said Guardiola. If you read what the people say this week we have to improve. But you cannot deny that we were good this season.
Every single day. To make 18 games in a row winning you have to be mentally strong.
Against Tottenham [the players] showed me how strong they were. That is important to build up the club. It is important to believe because Manchester City is not like United or Chelsea or Arsenal – you know, the big clubs in England who have a big history behind them.
So sometimes you have to do these kinds of things to think, Wow, we are good. We are good too, like the other ones. And maybe that helps us. That is the target. Of course its not going to happen next season the same – its impossible.
But that is the target. You have to try to be more consistent next season. It will be more complicated but for the club, the players, all the departments in the club, the people can believe we are good: Manchester City is a good club. That will be good.
More: Chelsea FC