Guardiola makes “biggest achievement” claim amid Man City’s Premier League rush

Covid cases, injuries and personal problems have beset Pep Guardiola and his players, but Manchester City have stayed strong throughout to stand on the cusp of another title

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Pep Guardiola reacts to Manchester City win over Chelsea

Pep Guardiola reckons Manchester City ‘s fourth title in five years will be their most impressive – because of the problems they have endured off the pitch.

Covid cases, injuries and personal problems have beset Guardiola and his players, but City have stayed strong throughout to stand on the cusp of another title success.

Match-winner Kevin De Bruyne has overcome Covid, as has Guardiola himself, while Joao Cancelo and his family were attacked by armed raiders who broke into his home between Christmas and New Year.

Defender Benjamin Mendy, suspended by the club since August, is awaiting trial on seven counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

City failed to land Harry Kane, to replace Sergio Aguero, but Guardiola’s side have adapted without a recognised striker to open up a seemingly unassailable lead in the title race.

Is this the best iteration of Manchester City under Pep Guardiola? Have your say in the comments!

Joao Cancelo was attacked by armed raiders


Manchester City did not replace Sergio Aguero


UEFA via Getty Images)

Against the backdrop of all those issues, Guardiola reckons his players – who made it 12 successive Premier League wins with victory over Chelsea – deserve huge credit for the position they are in.

“In this season there are personal problems for the players,” said Guardiola. “They are human beings, they have families. There are problems sometimes.

“Joao, for example. He had an incredible episode a couple of weeks ago with the family at home. How should you react in that situation?

“The way he reacted was exceptional, he said he wanted to play against Arsenal, in the FA Cup cup, and he played today.

“There are highs and lows for players and you have to handle the situation.

“Sometimes maybe Kevin has personal problems and I have personal problems as well, but when they are there, they try to do their best.

“The biggest achievement is they try to do everything and be the best. Otherwise, in this league, you cannot win 12 games in a row, it’s impossible.

“The opponents you see, every single week they are massive.”

De Bruyne proved the difference, his majestic curling strike, 20 minutes from time, clinching victory, although Guardiola said he still expects more from City’s talisman.

Kevin De Bruyne scored a majestic winner against Chelsea on Saturday


Getty Images)

The Belgium international is still finding his way back to his best form after Covid left him severely debilitated, with Guardiola convinced he can take his game to another level.

“I’ve known Kevin for six years,” said Guardiola. “When I arrived, he was already here and then we started winning together. In the bad moments, we suffered together.

“But nothing we have done would be possible without him. This season he has struggled for many reasons and our job as a manager is to demand more.

“I want to take them out of their comfort zone and give them the belief they can do better.

Pep Guardiola’s side have a huge lead at the top of the Premier League table


Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

“I think Kevin can do it. I want more, because I know he can do it.

“I want him to play better in some games and in some moments when we have to push because I know he can.

“He’s much better. Not at his best, but much better. He scored an outstanding goal and I know how difficult it is to play against Chelsea.

“We won for many reasons, but in the end because one guy received an exceptional pass from Joao, he drove and drove and then put the ball in the corner.”

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