Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola laughed when asked about Manchester United’s start to the season but praised Arsenal and Liverpool.
Guardiola’s side have had a perfect start to their Premier League title defence with five wins from their opening five matches at the beginning of the new season.
Liverpool and Arsenal aren’t far behind with four wins and a draw from their opening clashes, while Man Utd have had a poor start with just two wins and three defeats.
Erik ten Hag is coming under a bit of pressure for the first time as Man Utd boss with off-field incidents, including situations involving Jadon Sancho, Harry Maguire and Antony, only serving to highlight their poor performances on the pitch.
When discussing the chances of Man City retaining their title again this season, Guardiola replied to reporters: “You know how strong are Arsenal, yesterday at Goodison Park they are exceptional. Liverpool again, the mentality will continue there.”
One of the reporters put forward the name of City’s rivals, Man Utd, to which Guardiola laughed before adding: “Well they didn’t start like they expected, like Chelsea. But always, they are Man United, and Chelsea sooner or later they will take the rhythm.
“But it is important for us, after winning the treble, [winning] five from five is really, really good.”
On whether their new mentality is to defend the Champions League ahead of their clash with Crvena Zvezda on Tuesday night, Guardiola continued: “Every season, we start the competition the first game, always the target is to win. First the group stage, then last 16, try to win. We didn’t change when we didn’t win.
“Nothing more than Red Star, depends on our performance and level. We’re incredible happy to defend this crown. This competition doesn’t allow you to drop. Always we were strong at home, tomorrow is the first step.”
On the challenge of going again, Guardiola replied: “First year we arrive here, Monaco in last-16, we try to win it. Nothing changes. Now we won it it’s done – it’s not done. We’re happy but every time we see the picture of the four trophies, it makes me feel so happy. We want to live for the memories, I wouldn’t be here.
“We play against West Ham, play the Super Cup and against Newcastle, not an indeal situation, long week for Newcastle. it’s the challenge. It’s the competition, go for it. Competition gives us a new challenge, try, I don’t have any doubt we will try. Just Madrid or Milan did it in a few years in a row.
“I was incredible proud to be Barcelona manager we won two times but not in a row. It’s difficult, we try. Okay, we are not able to do it like the previous seasons, we qualify for next season and try again.”
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