‘The hardest one’ – Guardiola proud of Man City players after winning third title in four years



The Catalan coach praised his ‘special’ squad after winning the Premier League crown during the coronavirus pandemic

Pep Guardiola has described Manchester City’s Premier League title triumph during the coronavirus pandemic as the “hardest one”.

City’s third title in four years was confirmed on Tuesday when second-placed Manchester United fell 2-1 at home against Leicester City.

It completed a great turnaround for City, who were 11th in November after a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham but secured the crown with three matches to spare.

What’s been said?

“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” Guardiola said. “This was the hardest one.

“We will always remember this season for the way that we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players.

“They are so special. To come through this season – with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable.

“It is relentless. Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient.”

The bigger picture

Guardiola believes this title was the toughest to win because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The season kicked off late with his players under-prepared and a shortened schedule meant that they did not have a midweek off until May.

Players were hit by a Covid-19 outbreak around Christmas that shut down the training ground but Guardiola has steered them to another title as well as a Carabao Cup victory, with a Champions League final against Chelsea to come.

“At the start of every season, the Premier League is the most important title for us. This is the one where you have to be there every three days, playing all your rivals home and away,” the City boss added.

“Only by being the very best, week in week out, can you win this competition. It is a huge success.

“It is so important to say a huge thanks to all our fans. In our toughest moments, we couldn’t hear the crowd get behind us as usual, but we know they are with us everywhere we go and that has lifted us.

“I promise them we sense their love, we appreciate it and we could not have done what we have done without it. I hope we can all celebrate together one day not too far away.”

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