04 Mar Pep Guardiola: Manchester City were better than Chelsea in every aspect of game
Pep Guardiola hailed a superb team performance after his Manchester City side moved closer to title glory with a 1-0 victory over lacklustre champions Chelsea.
Bernardo Silva scored the only goal at the Etihad Stadium, sending City 18 points clear at the top of the Premier League, but Chelsea were poor and failed to muster a single shot on target.
The result means City need only a maximum of four more wins to claim their third Premier League crown.
Guardiola said: “Chelsea can do absolutely everything – build-up, long balls and when they make high pressing they do it well. When they defended they were well organised.
“But in all the aspects we were better. We made an amazing high pressing, our build-up was good, we didn’t concede one shot on target and we created enough chances to win.
“We made an amazing performance because we played against Chelsea, who are still the champions. Two-and-a-half days after Arsenal, and (before that) the (Carabao Cup) final, we were aggressive and we had desire and commitment to want to win again.”
City have now accumulated 78 points from 29 games and could become the first side to break through the 100-point barrier in the Premier League. Chelsea currently hold the record for the most points in a season – 95 in 2004-05.
Guardiola said: “What really matters is to be champions. I never spoke with the players about the records, we are not going to play for the records. We are going to play good to win games.
“Records are a consequence of what you have done but they are not the main thing. If you think about records you forget what you have to do.”
Guardiola admitted he could not have expected his side to have performed as well as they have done this season.
He said: “Before? No way. Who could believe it? I think if you ask the players, the players neither.”
City did set one record in the course of beating Chelsea, completing 902 passes – more than any side in a Premier League game since statisticians Opta began counting in 2003-04.
Guardiola said: “We try to play with the ball. Sometimes it is more complicated when teams are aggressive but we spoke about moving the ball quick, one or two touches, and controlling the counter-attack from Hazard, Willian and Pedro because they are so good at it. We did it really well.”
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was responsible for 167 of those passes.
Guardiola said: “He is a clever guy, so intelligent.”