Pep Guardiola has insisted that he is proud of his Manchester City side for an ‘outstanding’ display against Chelsea, despite the Premier League champions having suffered a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
City were largely dominant for the majority of the first half before conceding an N’Golo Kante opener against the run of play for Chelsea before half time. That strike turned the tide against the champions, with the hosts continuing to build on their momentum in the second half.
Chelsea’s win ended City’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season, but Guardiola was adamant after the match that his team put on a strong performance at the Bridge. As quoted by the club’s official website, Guardiola said: “We played outstanding in the first half.
“Apart from ten minutes in the second half, we were there until the end. I feel incredible emotion to see these players do what they do every three days.
“Sarri says he needs more time, but I think Chelsea are there now and can compete for everything. They have some fantastic players.
So Sarri, how do you beat @ManCity? 🤷♂️@ChelseaFC boss Maurizio Sarri says Pep Guardiola has always got the better of him so he wasn't in particularly confident mood ahead of their meeting on Saturday.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 7, 2018
More from Sarri in our live blog: https://t.co/cvMS8x6eW3 pic.twitter.com/zr755aQJHO
“We are going to try to be champions. In a season like this, with a lot of games – plus after last season – everybody wants to beat us. They put in something extra.
“What is important is how we react. Even if we would have won today, it’s still only the beginning of December.
“There are still a lot of points to play for. In general, we were fantastic.
“Sometimes we are upset because we lost, but we showed we wanted to win. Football is like this. You can always take lessons after winning or losing. In general, I am so glad with the way we played.”
Though City’s defeat on Saturday did not cost the champions too much ground in the title race, it did end their unbeaten start to the Premier League season. However, Guardiola has insisted that City’s unbeaten run was never something to dwell on, with maintaining such a run over the course of a whole season highly improbable.
“We are here to be champions, not invincibles – I said this many times and I said the same last season,” Guardiola insisted.
“Yesterday we were the favourites and unbeaten, today we have lost.