Pep Guardiola lauds Manchester City’s ‘exceptional’ and ‘extraordinary’ fifth Premier League title in six seasons but insists they have to win the Champions League to be considered ‘one of the greatest’

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Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Chelsea - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 21, 2023 Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan lifts the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after winning the Premier League Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City side have done something ‘exceptional’
City were presented with Premier League trophy for the fifth time in six years
Guardiola insists City have to win the Champions League to be one of the greats

Pep Guardiola is adamant that external pressure on Manchester City to lift the Champions League is spurring on his players in their Treble hunt.

The candid City manager has admitting that they cannot be considered one of the greatest teams in history if they do not conquer Europe.

That opportunity comes against Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10, while the weekend brought a fifth Premier League crown in six years — and Guardiola’s 11th in 14 seasons as a manager.

‘Sometimes it is unfair that you have to win the Champions League for the credit or value to what you’ve done but you have to accept it,’ he said.

‘I think it’s good. I know it will not be complete if we don’t win the Champions League. Sometimes playing with this pressure is nice, it’s necessary. ‘What we have done is extraordinary. Everybody knows it, all the managers, sporting directors, players and clubs, they know how exceptional it is.

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‘I could not imagine winning five in six. We don’t need decades to think about how good it was, we have the feeling [now].’

City have won 12 matches on the spin, with the goalscoring exploits of Erling Haaland central to their title defence.

‘For a debut season, 36 goals so far, a Premier League trophy and two finals left, it’s not a bad start,’ Haaland grinned. ‘These are memories I will remember for the rest of my life.’

Guardiola said pipping Arsenal is no different to the tussles with Liverpool in recent seasons, with two run-ins going down to the final day.

‘I remember perfectly a lot of games won in a row to beat Liverpool in the past,’ the Catalan added. ‘It has been quite similar. The first leg (of the season) from Arsenal, they did 50 points and I had the feeling they’d done something special.

‘I’ve been so demanding. I’m exhausted. The relentlessness and not giving up, I said so many times: “You have to win today”.’

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