Men's Team

Guardiola: Final pass wasn't good enough

PEP:  Guardiola gestures
Pep Guardiola was pleased with City’s 3-1 win over Swansea but said the final pass from his attacking midfielders could have cost his side their perfect record.

City moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League but the City boss feels the victory could have been more comfortable with better decisions at crucial moments.

“We didn’t create a lot of clear chances – we created a lot of ‘almost’ chances but our final pass wasn’t good enough today.

“We arrived many, many times with De Bruyne, Silva and Gundogan but it was amazing that we were in that situation so often but didn’t make the final pass, but then we got the penalty and then a third goal so we were able to win.

“We tried to win the game straight from the start and I thought Claudio (Bravo) was amazing in the way he mixed his passes; the short balls to the central defenders or the long balls to the strikers helped us create quick counter-attacks.”

Pep Guardiola admitted he had no preconceptions about how the current campaign might pan out and that he still believes just a top four finish will be a real battle with so many teams starting the season impressively.

“I didn’t think about what might happen at the start of the season,” he said. “We just focused on pre-season and then we took a lot of confidence from our Champions League qualifying games and then it’s been game-by-game.

“Now we are thinking of Celtic and then it will be Tottenham and that’s how we’ll go forward and at the end of the season, we’ll see how our levels were and whether we were better than our rivals or not.

“I honestly just think qualifying for the Champions League will be very tough – United played really well today, Liverpool are especially playing very well, as are Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal. Everton may have lost today but they are all so, so strong.”

And Sergio Aguero’s record of 11 goals in six games was also recognised by the boss – though he believes Kun can still do even better. He said: “I am so happy for Sergio. He knows I want more and he can play better and that’s what he wants and what we want, but he scored a fantastic first goal today.

“His first touch in the box was superb and the quality and way he scored the penalty was excellent, too.”

However, one sour note was the late injury to Kevin De Bruyne who looks set for a spell on the side-lines. He said: “I think he is injured, unfortunately – that’s why we need a big squad because these things happen and it is a long season.”

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