Pep Guardiola was delighted with the response of his players as Manchester City put their Champions League disappointment behind them with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Cardiff City.
His side were back to their best with goals from Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and a brace from Riyad Mahrez keeping the pressure on early pacesetters Liverpool and Chelsea.
“I think we played better than the Fulham game, we were more dynamic — after the not good result in midweek we responded in the same level that we have had for the last 12, 13 months,” Guardiola told a news conference.
“We made a good performance the first 20, 25 minutes, it is always complicated, it’s not easy, but after one or two goals it was easier. Especially in the second half and after 0-3 always you are relaxed, you forget to do what you have to do, and we were consistent, we didn’t suffer too much, we created a good game and good chances.”
Mahrez came on as a substitute to score his first goals for City since his club record move from Leicester City in the summer.
The Algerian winger has made just two Premier League starts for the club but Guardiola said he will have an important part to play this season along with youngster Phil Foden, who was introduced midway through the second half.
“Of course it’s important for him, he came here and he’s an incredibly talented player,” the City boss added. “Like Phil Foden for example, how he played the last 20 minutes, it’s a pleasure to watch Phil play football and of course Riyad as well.
“The season is so long, they have to be ready and prepare because they are going to play a lot of minutes, all of them.”
Aguero marked his 300th appearance for the club with a typical goal, the day after announcing a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2021.
“Hopefully he doesn’t finish, decide to retire or go to another place,” Guardiola joked. “That’s why [he signed]. He played good.”
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