BRIGHTON, United Kingdom: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned his side’s rivals that the English champions will only get stronger after holding off Liverpool to become the first side in a decade to retain the Premier League.
City came from behind to beat Brighton 4-1 on Sunday and take the title by just one point from Liverpool, despite the Reds amassing a club record 97 points.
Indeed, Liverpool’s points tally is the third highest in Premier League history, behind only City this season and when they racked up 100 points in storming to the title for the first time under Guardiola last year.
City could become the first side to ever win a domestic treble in England should they beat Watford in the FA Cup final next weekend.
But Guardiola is already looking ahead to next season and strengthening his squad to repeat the feats he achieved in winning three titles in a row at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“Winning is so addictive and of course in a few days we have the FA Cup,“ said Guardiola, who has now won eight league titles in 10 seasons as a coach.
“After (we’ll) prepare well, take the right decisions for next season to come back stronger because Liverpool will maintain it I think and the other ones will be better.
“I think (Manchester) United must come back, Chelsea one more year with (Maurizio) Sarri will be better, Tottenham we have seen (get to the) final of the Champions League and Arsenal, when they make what they have to do, will be there as well.
“We know it, but we accept the challenge and I promise you we will come back and I have the feeling we will be stronger next season.”
Liverpool’s wait for a league title will now stretch to at least 30 years and the Champions League finalists will aim to end a seven-year wait for silverware of any kind against Tottenham on June 1.
Meanwhile, an embarrassing 2-0 home defeat by already-relegated Cardiff saw Manchester United end the campaign as close to the relegation zone as the top of the table.
And Guardiola used England’s traditionally two most successful clubs as an example to City’s players, fans and owners not to take their current success for granted.
“Now when you win the title you realise how difficult it is just to win one title,“ he added.
“Liverpool in the last four years didn’t win one. Man Utd and Liverpool are the biggest clubs in England.
“The biggest mistake, which with me is not going to happen, is believe we are something special, because you win four or five titles in two years. But still you can go the next four or five without winning anything.
“That’s why I want the fans, the organisation, to enjoy that moment because it’s so complicated.” — AFP
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