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Pep Guardiola: ‘No complacency’ spells no hope for Manchester City’s chasers

Fresh from leading his team to 15 successive Premier League victories this season with another 4-0 masterclass at Swansea City, Guardiola sounded almost offended by the idea that they might lose focus.

“That is not going to happen,” the Spaniard told the BBC, when asked if a slacking off might materialise with City now 11 points clear and their nearest chasers all seemingly becoming more resigned to it being a hopeless pursuit.

The perfectionist’s streak that runs through Pep Guardiola demanded he should declare after another record-breaking triumph on Wednesday there would be absolutely no possibility of complacency now derailing Manchester City.

“We are so demanding for our players. We can lose, we can drop points but complacency never happened in the past, the present or the future. Winning 15 games in a row gives us a lot of confidence,” Guardiola said.

Having broken the single-season record with a 14th consecutive win in the Manchester derby at United on Sunday, win number 15 beat the top-flight landmark in the Premier League era set by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, spanning two seasons in 2002.

Yet what has evidently delighted the Spaniard more than anything has been the way City seemed to have carved out their triumphs in the same kaleidoscopic manner he fashioned previously at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

“If people are happy watching us, that is the best gift,” he said, making it sound like an early Christmas present for English soccer fans.

Among the delights he has served up, perhaps nothing has been finer than the way Guardiola has brought David Silva, his marvellous Spanish midfield conductor, into full bloom.

With his double against Swansea, Silva has now been involved in 13 Premier League goals in 17 matches this season five goals and eight assists which is already more than he managed in the whole of 2016-17.

Guardiola was left delighted that, at 31, his orchestrator was now apparently also becoming more of a predator.

“I’m so happy for David,” he enthused. “We cannot disguise his quality but in the past he didn’t score too much goals. He’s sharp, he’s in an amazing condition.”

It may have been a pleasure for the neutral but for Swansea boss Paul Clement, who also had to see goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero ensure his side remain rooted to the foot of the table, it was “horrible” to behold.

“For me, (City) are one of the best sides I’ve ever come across,” said Clement, who has been assistant manager at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

“So many good athletes, so many intelligent footballers and it’s really hard to pin them down.”

So hard indeed that only Everton, in the Premier League, this season have managed to take a point from them and it is increasingly looking the tallest of orders for any other side to follow suit.

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