Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have set a new ‘standard’ at the top of the Premier League.
City became the first team in Premier League history to reach 100 points as they were crowned champions last season, and are currently on 89 points with just three games remaining of the current campaign.
Having won the title by a record 19 point margin last season, Guardiola’s side are currently embroiled in a tight title race this time around with just a point separating them from second-placed Liverpool.
Guardiola believes City have set new standards for what it takes to be crowned champions, saying their opponents must match that quality in order to be successful.
“I don’t know in the future. But I know the standards we created last year at Manchester City,” Guardiola told the press ahead of his sides trip to Burnley.
“People know that now you have to be close to 100 points – before it was 90. That standard was set last season.
“We helped Liverpool to achieve it this season and Liverpool helped us to keep going. So, thanks to Liverpool, we’re competing. Liverpool know that to win you have to make a lot of points. That’s what we communicate to everyone.”
“Next season, Chelsea are getting better, United, Tottenham.
“When you’re 25 points above united, 22 ahead of the others, if you want to get better, you have to increase the standard.
“Before it was easier than last season – everybody could lose to anybody. This season two teams won a lot of games. That’s the standard we have set.
“Like Usain Bolt when he does a 100 metre race – that’s the standard. Other people have to reach it.
“Like Jack Nicklaus with 18 Grand Slams and Tiger Woods, that’s the standard, it’s the same. 100 points last season? If you want to compete you have to do that.
“I say right now, to maintain that level now, after what we’ve done, I’d sign for that. I don’t expect more than that.
“To do that we have to push each other, knowing the other teams are at the same level as us, focus on every single game, do what you have to do to win that game, respect the opponents, work hard, improve on what we have done this season – that’s the only way I know.”