Bayern and Liverpool are the champions - Guardiola dismisses City's best in Europe tag

By Dom Farrell 1 March 2021 482
Bayern and Liverpool are the champions - Guardiola dismisses City's best in Europe tag

Pep Guardiola insists Bayern Munich and Liverpool still set the standard for his Manchester City side despite their dominant form.

City hold a 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League ahead of Tuesday's home game against Wolves, where they will chase a 21st consecutive win in all competitions.

That would bring them closer to the 'top five' European leagues record of 23 that Bayern Munich established on their way to a treble last season.

Guardiola's men beat Liverpool 4-1 as part of their ongoing run, with Jurgen Klopp's injury-hit side having stumbled out of the title race this time around.

After Saturday's 2-1 win against West Ham, Hammers boss David Moyes hailed City as Europe's best but Guardiola insists his team's form will count for nothing unless they manage to lift major prizes at the end of the campaign.

"The best team in Europe and the world is Bayern Munich because they won everything. They are the best," he said.

"In England the champions are Liverpool, they are the best. The crown, if you want to take it you have to win.

"In March, nobody is champion. You have to do well and try and win it, but we cannot deny the last two-and-a-half months were exceptional.

"When we played well, we won comfortably but when we didn’t play so well, we were able to take the points.

"In 20 games in a row winning, you will not be exceptional all the time. It's important in those games to be solid and take the points."

Guardiola would not be surprised if City's next game falls into the latter category.

Since Wolves' promotion to the Premier League for the 2018-19 season, City have won twice, lost twice and drawn once against Nuno Espirito Santo's side.

"The history against them dictates, shows us how tough it is," Guardiola said. "We know it perfectly, exactly the type of game we have to play to be so intense but at the same time calm.

"They play with your ambition and patience to punish you. You have to be so clever the way you have to play.

"In the last years it was so tough because of the quality and the structure they have and this year will be no exception."

Sergio Aguero played an hour against West Ham as he stepped up his moves towards match fitness and Guardiola reported City's all-time record goalscorer suffered no ill-effects.

Defender Nathan Ake (hamstring) remains his only senior absentee.

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