Win at Chelsea was a ‘key step’ in City’s run to title
Pep Guardiola returns to Chelsea today convinced that Manchester City’s victory at Stamford Bridge last season was the moment his master plan began to crystallise.
City’s 1-0 win against the defending champions in September last year, secured by a stunning secondhalf goal from Kevin De Bruyne, won widespread plaudits and was one of the highlights of an 18-match winning run in the Premier League.
Guardiola believes it set the tone for City’s march to the title and marked a level they have since continued to reach with regularity.
“Last season, winning there was more than three points,” said the City manager, who will be without De Bruyne as well as striker Sergio Aguero tonight. “It showed we could do it. It was an important step, the first important game away against the last champion.
“In these sort of games, of course we want to win, but I’m more focused on behaviour. How we are as a team on those sort of stages. That’s what I want to see from my team.”
Guardiola believes City have had “many” such moments this season and hopes his team can claim another away victory against a title rival after wins at Arsenal, Tottenham and a point at Liverpool.
“We play five hypothetical strong teams in the league and Chelsea is the last one away, apart from Manchester United, who we played at home, and our behaviour was good,” he said.