Guardiola Reveals When He Knew City Would Win The League
May. 13, 2019
Pep Guardiola says he knew Manchester City could win the Premier League ahead of Liverpool when the Reds failed to beat Leicester in January.
The city had lost at Newcastle on January 29, to remain four points behind Liverpool, who faced Leicester the following day.
But Liverpool could only draw with the Foxes, and City didn't lose in any of their following 14 league fixtures, culminating in the final day win at Brighton that saw Guardiola's men win the title by a point.
Liverpool went on to drop points in the following game against West Ham, as well as registering draws against Manchester United and Everton.
And Guardiola admitted after seeing his side lift the Premier League trophy for the second time under his management, that Liverpool's challenge pushed City on to improve their standards.
He told Sky Sports: "We have to say congratulations to Liverpool of course and thank you so much they helped us to push and to increase our standards from last season. To compete against this team we should do what we have done.
"[It's] incredible, the reality is realized so 198 points. We started two seasons ago here and to win it in the same stadium, make back to back it's an incredible season for us.
"Last season, Man City made the standard higher, that is the level of the Premier League. Liverpool helps us to be there all the time. To win the title we have to win 14 games in a row. We knew two or three months we couldn't miss a point.
"And we did it playing all competitions and until the end except the semi-finals of the Champions League. It's incredible to do it after 100 points, normally you have the tendency to go down."
Explaining the moment Guardiola felt City were still in the title race, the Catalan said: "Liverpool help us be there. Right after [losing at Newcastle] no, we imagine they would beat Leicester at home [and City would not win the title].
"When they didn't win, seven points, but when it was Liverpool playing that way we said game by game. It was difficult. But it is not my feeling, the feeling of the club, players, staff. The toughest title in all my career.
"[Next season] will be tougher, but we will be stronger too. When you've won two in a row in this country with this manager these players, we have done really well. It's a reality. I have a feeling next season we will come back and try to be who we are now."