"Hopefully, Liverpool lose against us!": Pep Guardiola key post-Burnley quotes
Pep Guardiola orchestrated his players in their 2-0 Premier League victory over Burnley: Chris Brunskill - Fantasistsa/GettyImages

Pep Guardiola was in high spirits but stressed the need to remain focused as his Manchester City team breezed past Burnley

First-half goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling put City in cruise control and they were able to manage the game well from that point forward. 

The result leaves City one point ahead of their challengers, Liverpool, in a Premier League title race reminiscent of the 2018-19 season. 

On the game and Liverpool

Despite the closeness in terms of points, Guardiola was adamant that his team were not thinking about Liverpool as they approached their match against Burnley. 

The Reds temporarily went to the top of the table with a victory against Watford but that moment was short-lived as City won by the same scoreline just a few hours later. 

“We don’t speak much about our contender to be champion this season," Guardiola said.

"I guess they knew the result from Liverpool but we travelled one hour by coach to do our job. We were lucky to score early on - five minutes - the grass was so slow, the pitch was so high, and our rhythm was not easy to [get going]. We were in control with corners and free-kicks in these kinds of situations. Burnley is a top-class team in these terms; they do not concede much. 

"In the beginning of the second half we had two or three clear, clear chances to score the third and kill the game and try to score more to reduce the goal difference against Liverpool. But football after the international break is always uncertain with how the players come back. And now the Champions League: a dream to be there and prepare for Atletico Madrid.”

Conserving Energy

City have the ability to win convincingly despite not racking up big scorelines. The suggestion is that they can manage a game and lower their energy levels in order to keep fresh for the remainder of the campaign. 

“We spoke at half-time to play with a purpose, not just to pass the ball without any sense. The second-half, they pressed more like the Burnley that they are: two in two to our central defenders, their holding-midfielder jumped into our defensive-midfielder. They are more aggressive in these terms. 

"I learned from the first season here that at 3-0 you can start to think about being more conservative with energy but at 2-0 you’d better not do it because there are surprises.”

On squad depth: De Bruyne and Sterling

The performances of Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling were stand-out and Guardiola was quick to praise the two, while paying respect to the collective efforts of his squad. 

“Kevin was not in the national team and he didn’t know the rhythm but he trained really well and at the end he was really tired. It was important, the minutes he played.

"And Raheem (Sterling) came back from the national team with a boost. Incredible - the captain. And we see today how decisive he was in the decision, the assists - he creates one in the right side - the speed and everything. The feeling is that he is arriving at a really good moment. 

"Jonny (Stones) was still not perfect. Aymeric was playing on the right side, being left it was not easy for him. Everyone makes their own contribution. We get the points:  eight games left, 24 [points], we know. We spoke about that. We have to feel the pressure."

With a wry smile, he added: "Hopefully Liverpool is going to lose against us."

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