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Pep plays down favourites' tag

12 August 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 12/08/17 9:25pm

Pep Guardiola played down Manchester City’s favourites’ tag as their Premier League rivals faltered elsewhere.

Arsenal were unconvincing in beating Leicester on , Liverpool drew at Watford and champions Chelsea were beaten at home by Burnley.

But City, boosted by a £200m summer spending spree, were ruthless in overcoming the stubborn Seagulls, with Sergio Aguero’s goal after 70 minutes followed by Lewis Dunk’s own goal.

Watch highlights from Man City's win at Brighton

Watch highlights from Man City's win at Brighton

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Guardiola, accustomed to being a favourite following spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, said: “Last season it was too. Last season sitting here after the Sunderland game you said, ‘You are the favourites, you are the most beautiful and handsome and nice guys in the league’.

“After you know what happened last season? Chelsea killed us. Okay, we accept what the people say, we have to try to improve and improve.

“I’m so satisfied with what we have done, but of course we can get better. About who is the favourites or not, it’s your (the media’s) job, not ours.”

Asked whether being favourites bothered him, Guardiola said: “No. What I cannot control doesn’t matter.

“Last season it was the same and look what happened. But I’m used to that. I was manager at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. I can handle that situation.”

Guardiola cautioned his players following the shock results earlier in the weekend ahead of their Saturday tea-time kick off.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (centre) celebrates scoring his side’s first goal

He added: “We spoke about that. It’s the Premier League. I lived that last season. Here every game is a battle.

“The first game is always complicated. We saw this weekend what happened in many games. From my experience in Barcelona too, especially against the newly promoted it’s always difficult. And we did it.

“We were stable. We controlled the game and the game was in our hands. To start with three points away it’s always so important.”


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