Football: Guardiola warns City not to rest on their laurels

Manchester City's Leroy Sane celebrates scoring their third goal with Kyle Walker and team mates.
Manchester City's Leroy Sane celebrates scoring their third goal with Kyle Walker and team mates.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Pep Guardiola insists "incredible" Manchester City still have room for improvement after the ruthless champions thrashed West Ham 4-0 on Saturday (Nov 24).

Guardiola's side were in clinical form in east London as the champions maintained their unbeaten start after 13 games of the Premier League season.

David Silva and Raheem Sterling struck in the first 19 minutes to put City in complete control.

Germany winger Sane netted before the interval and again in the closing stages to ensure leaders City remain two points clear of second placed Liverpool.

City have scored 19 goals in their last four games in all competitions, with their latest blitz serving as the perfect preparation for next week's Champions League clash at Lyon.

But City boss Guardiola doesn't want his players to rest on their laurels and, while he was full of praise for their swaggering show at the London Stadium, he is determined to ensure they deliver even better performances in the future.

"The biggest risk is to believe we cannot do better. We can improve. At times today we were lucky," Guardiola said.

"I think it's the international break. Players have been travelling and training differently so we conceded more chances than usual and didn't find the right spots to attack.


"But the four goals were fantastic and the result was incredible. After the international break it's always so difficult. Real Madrid lost away, Bayern Munich drew at home, (Manchester) United were not able to win.

"So I give us a lot of credit, knowing that we have to be better. And we will do it."


The key, Guardiola said, will be refusing to be complacent and for both players and coaches to continue to demand more from each other.

"When players hear and read comments about how fantastic they are, that is a dangerous situation," he said.

"We push each other a lot, my staff to me, me to my staff, the staff to the players and the players to us. We demand, we ask many things of each other and it's the only way.

"And the other contenders push us. Liverpool's best start ever in a huge history shows how tough it will be.

"After we achieved 100 points, and got nice words and nice compliments, there's a tendency not to do what you have to do.

"But today you saw Raheem (Sterling), Leroy (Sane) and Riyad (Mahrez) coming back to help our fullbacks, even after 70 minutes three-zero in front, that's a signal that we can do it again."

Sterling crossed low for Silva to slip home the first goal after 11 minutes, then scored the second after 19 minutes from a pass by Sane.

Sane netted the third in the 34th minute after Sterling had cushioned Fernandinho's pass into his path.

Even substitute Gabriel Jesus got into the act, his late cross converted by Sane.

"We couldn't score 106 goals last season if everybody hadn't been involved," Guardiola said.

Saluting Sane, who struggled early in the season but is now back to his best, Guardiola added: "We never had doubts about his quality but he's young and sometimes he will have ups and downs.

"You gain this kind of things with time and age like (Vincent) Kompany, (Nicolas) Otamendi. We are here because we have experience and we have lived these situations before."

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini added: "We were very weak in defending the first three goals. Scoring was too easy for them. They had so much time.

"Were we intimidated? No. Before they scored we did most attacking."