Man City boss Pep Guardiola targets treble after Premier League glory

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Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City are addicted to winning and will not settle for simply retaining their Premier League crown.

City secured a second successive title by just one point with Sunday’s 4-1 triumph at Brighton, pipping Liverpool who ended up second with a stunning 97 points.

Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan all hit the net as City stormed home at the Amex Stadium.

City rattled off 14 successive victories to seal the title, with Guardiola then admitting his players and coaches are nowhere near satisfied.

“Well I’m not going to deny it is exhausting, but winning is so addictive and now we have the chance to win the FA Cup and a treble,” said Guardiola.

“Then we have to make decisions for next season to come back strong. Liverpool will maintain and so we have to be better.

“Competitive people are never satisfied, it’s never enough. We want more and more.

“And that’s why the second one, to make it back to back shows me this kind of thing. It shows me it wasn’t enough (for the players), that one wasn’t enough.”

Glenn Murray headed Brighton into the lead to hand City a scare, but that fright lasted just 83 seconds.

Aguero buried the visitors’ first chance, and after Laporte headed in from a corner, Guardiola’s men never relented.

City have racked up 198 points across their back-to-back title victories, with Guardiola admitting Liverpool’s chase has driven his side to new levels this term.

City’s madcap celebrations included Oasis star Noel Gallagher belting out his classic hit Wonderwall with the squad in the dressing room. They then flew back to Manchester to continue the party with around 10,000 City fans at a hastily-arranged event at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola was keen for his players to enjoy the moment, but then admitted City will quickly refocus on completing that unprecedented domestic treble.

“No teams in England have done that before, so we have to challenge, compete and be focused on this game,” said Guardiola, looking ahead to next week’s Wembley date with Watford.

“Of course the FA Cup isn’t easy to achieve getting to the final and we are going to go to try to win.”

When asked if Guardiola’s City side will go down as the best in English history, he simply suggested being in the conversation is all anyone can ask.

“When people suggest you can be one of the best, that’s enough,” said Guardiola. “But we had this in Barcelona too.

“If in 10, 15, 20 years people talk about this team, it’s because we were good.

“Like books, movies, if they sustain the passage of time, if after 25 years people are watching the same movie, reading the same book. If people still talk about this team after that time, then it deserves to be considered alongside the best Man United, the best Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal.”

Captain Vincent Kompany, who has now won four Premier League titles, spoke of his pride as he led the evening celebrations on stage back at the Etihad at around 10.45pm.

“I am so proud,” he said. “This team is amazing. We’re able to fill this place at this time of night – thank you so much. This is amazing.”

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Jurgen Klopp vows Liverpool will challenge for title again next season

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Jurgen Klopp is confident Liverpool will again challenge Manchester City for the Premier League next season after just missing out on a first title in 29 years.

A 2-0 win over Wolves courtesy of two goals from Sadio Mane was ultimately not enough as City’s 4-1 win at Brighton ensured Pep Guardiola’s side finished just ahead of the Reds by a point.

While Klopp said he cannot promise the competition will be as intense and relentless as this season, he is looking forward to another battle with City.

“As long as City are around with the quality they have and the financial power and all that stuff, it’s not that any other team will pass them easily. That’s clear,” he said.

“As long as this is the case we need to be very close to perfection to win the Premier League.

“I don’t say we will have 97 points next year or whatever, maybe that’s not needed, I don’t know. We will come again.

“We made unbelievably big steps and I really expect more to come, that’s the truth.

“There’s a lot to come, a lot of years, it’s all about you and what you do with it, and that’s what we do with it.

“People will tell us it’s 30 years or whatever (since Liverpool won the league) but other clubs have bigger problems, to be honest.

“This team tried it the first time, and I really think they did it quite impressively for a first time.

“This team is not a finished article. We will go again, 100 per cent.”

Liverpool finished with the third-highest points tally in top-flight history with 97, bettered only by City’s 98 this season and 100 in the previous campaign.

They also lost just one league match – crucially at City in January – had two of the Premier League’s three joint-top scorers in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, while goalkeeper Alisson Becker claimed the Golden Glove for 21 clean sheets, one better than City counterpart Ederson.

Still that was not enough to get them over the line but Klopp is hugely encouraged by what he has seen.

“It was an unbelievable season. I can read all the stats, I can read all the numbers, it’s just really exceptional,” added the Reds boss.

“My thing is if you would get an award for the biggest development jump I can remember, then the boys would get that.

“We used the base from last year, but we have made a big step. Unbelievable – and there is more to come.

“If we are ready to make the next step, we will make the next step. That’s the plan from tomorrow on.”

Klopp will now turn his attention to the Champions League final against Tottenham on June 1.

“To be on this road and also qualify for the Champions League final, it’s pretty special,” he added.

“This team is one of the best to have ever played for Liverpool 100 per cent.”

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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Guardiola hails Premier League title triumph as hardest of his career

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Pep Guardiola has branded Manchester City retaining the Premier League title as the toughest of his nine major league triumphs.

City pipped Liverpool to the league crown by just one point following a 4-1 win at Brighton to conclude the greatest title battle in top-flight history.

Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan all hit the net as City stormed home at the Amex Stadium after Glenn Murray had given the Seagulls a shock 28th-minute lead.

City rattled off 14 successive victories to seal the title, with Guardiola then declaring his players and coaches are nowhere near satisfied.

“That is the toughest league that we’ve won, the Premier League, Germany, Spain, that’s the toughest that we’ve won,” said Guardiola.

“I’m not going to deny it is exhausting but winning is so addictive and now we have the chance to win the FA Cup and a treble.

“Then we have to make decisions for next season to come back strong. Liverpool will maintain and so we have to be better.

“Competitive people are never satisfied, it’s never enough. We want more and more.

“And that’s why the second one, to make it back to back, shows me this kind of thing. It shows me it wasn’t enough (for the players), that one wasn’t enough.”

Murray headed Brighton into the lead to hand City a scare but that fright lasted just 83 seconds.

Aguero buried the visitors’ first chance, and after Laporte headed in from a corner 10 minutes later, Guardiola’s men never relented.

City have racked up 198 points across their consecutive title victories, with Guardiola claiming Liverpool’s chase has driven his side to new levels this term.

Liverpool’s 97-point haul would have won all but these last two league campaigns.

City’s madcap celebrations included Oasis star Noel Gallagher belting out his classic hit Wonderwall with the squad in the dressing room.

Guardiola was keen for his players to enjoy the moment but then confirmed City will quickly refocus on completing that unprecedented domestic treble.

Adamant City will be ready for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Watford, Guardiola joked his side still has weak points.

“Yes, there are weaknesses,” he said. “I’m the tallest guy, so at set-pieces I must go to the church and pray. It’s a trouble.

“No teams in England have done that before so we have to challenge, compete and be focused on this game. Of course, the FA Cup isn’t easy to achieve to get to the final and we are going to try to win.”

When asked if his side will go down as the best in English history, Guardiola simply said being in the conversation is all anyone can ask.

“When people suggest you can be one of the best that’s enough,” said Guardiola. “But we had this in Barcelona, too.

“If in 10, 15, 20 years people talk about this team, it’s because we were good.

“Like books, movies, if they sustain the passage of time, if after 25 years people are watching the same movie, reading the same book.

“If people still talk about this team after that time, then it deserves to be considered alongside the best Man United, the best Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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