Pep Guardiola has proclaimed that the title fight coming from rivals this season will only strengthen his Manchester City side, likening it to the 2009/10 campaign he had with Barcelona.
The year before, the Catalan club had garnered the treble, but a sustained challenge from Manuel Pellegrini's Real Madrid in La Liga pushed them to collect 99 points and another domestic triumph.
His current side are facing a similar proposition this season after garnering 100 points in the Premier League last season, and Guardiola has proclaimed it to be a healthy situation.
As reported by Goal, the tactician declared: “I remember perfectly that season how tough it was, because more than the 96 points [they won], Madrid, with Manuel, played incredibly good. That’s why it was so nice, because we did the 99 points [after] we had won the treble with Barcelona.
“That’s why we maintained that level, 99 points. It was good, we did 99 points because someone from behind pushed us, and we knew that if we drop points Madrid is going to win the title.
“That’s why it helped us. It’s quite similar with (Rafael) Nadal, (Roger)Federer and (Novak) Djokovic, no?
"We need it as athletes, in sport, they (the players) knew, I didn’t tell them but they knew how strong Liverpool are, and they know that we can’t drop points because if we do then Liverpool is going to win the league."
Guardiola didn't limit his challengers to Jurgen Klopp's side, though did omit Jose Mourinho's Manchester United, confirming: “We can say Liverpool or Chelsea, or Tottenham and Arsenal as well. To compete we need good opponents close [to us] and of course this season we have it, here and in Europe.”