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Guardiola ´so optimistic´ after Man City´s perfect start

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s form at the start of the season has been even better than he could have expected.

City made it five consecutive wins in all competitions under Guardiola by beating West Ham 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with Raheem Sterling’s double and Fernandinho’s header doing the damage.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach was delighted by his team’s performance, describing their first-half showing as the best he has seen in any of his three Premier League games at the helm.

Guardiola said: “It has been better than I thought. I am so optimistic, I see many good things about the players but I didn’t expect to see so many good things in such a short time playing. It shows how good they are.

“I am so satisfied. It is a pleasure to work with these guys in this club. We feel the players believe in what we do and that is more satisfying for the coach of course, but that without results is nothing. 

“In Bucharest [in the Champions League] we played amazing, but in the Premier League, we played only good in minutes against Sunderland and adapted well against Stoke, so – in the Premier League – yes [that first half was the best]. 

“We played here against Sunderland and controlled that game, but we were not brilliant like we were today.”

Guardiola, though, warned his City players to remain on guard after Michail Antonio – rewarded on Sunday night with an England call-up – scored a second-half header that reduced the deficit to one, before Sterling’s clincher in stoppage-time.

Guardiola added: “When you see how many chances we created, they scored with their first chance. 

“Here it is over when it is over and at 2-0 it is not over. You have to win 3-0 or 4-0 to think the game is over. They played long balls and scored a goal in the only way we could concede, by crossing. They are taller than us and play in that style. 

“Of course they have many injuries – this team with Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini would be very strong – but we are satisfied.

“At 2-1, the emotions, not the tactics, went in. Then we created many chances, I don’t know how many shots we had but the performance in general was really good with or without the ball. 

“With the quality of our players, we can be satisfied. We played a good game, our fans enjoyed it and we are happy.”

Sun 28 Aug, 2016
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