Pep Guardiola believes City must win all the games that remain to fend off the challenge by Liverpool.

The defending champions made it nine Premier League wins on the bounce with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace and the City boss thinks only another five more victories will be enough.

“I am so pleased after the amount of games we have had,” said Pep.

REPORT: Palace 1 City 3: Match report

“We played so well for 75 or 80 minutes - and then they scored a we lost a little control for a few minutes, but I am really pleased.

“We expect Liverpool to win all of their remaining games, but the Premier League is in our hands and we have to win all our games and that’s what we need to do if we want to win the title back-to-back.

“The players have shown me they want to do it - I didn’t have any doubts about that - and we have taken three points from a very difficult place to win.

“We have played with incredible personality in the last two or three months - for the last month we’ve known that if we drop points it will be more difficult if not impossible to win the title.

“Of course, Liverpool or we could drop points when you don’t expect, and football is unpredictable in that sense.

“But we don’t have any complaints - we have taken 183 points in two seasons and still have five games left. Those are incredible numbers and show how consistent we are.”

The Catalan also had praise for his defenders, adding that the defensive partnership of Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte were outstanding.

 


                        GOOD KOMPANY: Pep and the skipper
GOOD KOMPANY: Pep and the skipper

 

“Benteke is so strong in the air and Vinny is the best defender at heading the ball we have,” he said.

“Of course, he has the experience and he can play at a high level – he trained well for the last few weeks and that’s why he played today.

“Laporte was incredible, breaking up the play and switching play to the wings and breaking the lines.

 


                        AIN'T NOBODY: ... ever getting past Aymeric Laporte.
AIN'T NOBODY: ... ever getting past Aymeric Laporte.

 


“We know what Aymeric has done has been really incredible - a central defender needs to defend and defend well, and the first pass is to play it five meters - he can do that, but also he commits going forwards, creates extra passes for the players up front and helps us to play better.

“Today was at the level he’s been at all season.”

And the boss also praised man of the match Kevin De Bruyne, adding: “The the last three or four games he was incredible, and we missed him a lot when he was out injured.

“He has the ability and the vision to see passes the rest of the human beings can’t see.

“He was so committed defensively and so effective in the final third and, of course, he is fresh mentally and, in the legs, to make those decisions. That’s why he made the two assists and all the other passes throughout the game.”