Manchester City’s 4-0 victory over Bournemouth means Pep Guardiola has won every competitive match as City boss, securing the Citizens’ best-ever start to a season in the process.
Eddie Howe’s men conceded four times – to Kevin De Bruyne, Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan – but Guardiola still singled the Cherries out as the best side he’s come across during his short time in England.
“Bournemouth were the best team we’ve played. They created more problems with the balls than others who played long balls,” he said.
Obviously, City fans were thrilled.
Pep Guardiola: "Bournemouth are the best side we have faced this season. (Other opponents) just used the long ball." 🔫🔫— City Watch (@City_Watch) September 17, 2016
Pep Guardiola: "Bournemouth are the best side we have faced this season. Others just used the long ball." pic.twitter.com/a5GtQyWJBD— Players Sayings (@PlayersSayings) September 17, 2016
Cherries boss Howe said when Bournemouth came up to the Premier League last season that his team would continue playing with the footballing philosophy he believes in, which in many ways is similar to Guardiola’s. It’s unsurprising that the Spaniard had praise for Bournemouth, then.
But to say they’re the best team he’s faced? City have beaten Sunderland, Stoke and West Ham so far in the league. Oh, and Manchester United. By that logic Pep reckons Bournemouth are a better team than United, or at least play football more in-line with his vision of how the game should be played.
It’s not exactly surprising, given aesthetically pleasing football has never been a priority for Jose Mourinho – but it’s still a slight dig that the Manchester United coach will probably be made aware of.
And after losing to his cross-city rival not long ago, and suffering defeat in the Europa League soon after, we can’t imagine Mou will be in the best of moods when he hears about the quip.
Brace yourselves, Mourinho household.