Pep Guardiola thinks his Manchester City side could have scored more in their 6-3 derby victory against Manchester United and that they must strive for “perfection.”
City ran riot against United, scoring four goals in the first half through Phil Foden and Erling Haaland.
And though they were less impressive in the second half, they added two further goals to their tally to embarrass their cross-town visitors.
“It was really good,” said Guardiola. We scored four goals, and we could have scored more, really.
“At half-time, we talked, ‘Let’s continue’, but it was more difficult. They played better in the second half and in the last minutes we were flat, but great victory, it was a good game, and everyone was happy in the stadium. They enjoyed it. We enjoyed it against our rival, Manchester United, so good afternoon for us.”
Guardiola also spoke about how his players got the better of Erik ten Hag’s side: “In general, it was really good. How aggressive we were without the ball, they could not play. When they have Lisandro [Martinez], and Bruno [Fernandes], and [Christen] Eriksen and all of them, they have quality. And we saw a little bit of it in a few minutes in the second half.
“In the first half, we were there in the turns, we were aware of the spaces, and the quality of players we had up front made the difference.”
City, who are targeting their fifth Premier League title in six seasons, have always been known to be relentless under Guardiola, and the Catalan spoke about how desire in his team is “non-negotiable”.
He said: “We can win or lose, but the effort and the desire and helping each other [is important]. But there are many things that we can do better. Some players were not good today and have to improve.
“Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s impossible. But we must try to look there. We did good, we can do better, many, many players had sloppy passes. This is not good. We have to be more consistent. In some areas, we were still not good.”
On Foden, Guardiola hailed his will to perform well, saying: “He [Foden] deserves to play every time, and then he has quality. He is a young player, and it is a reality. He deserves everything.”
The manager also spoke highly of summer signing Haaland, simply stating that his career numbers speak for themselves.
“He has done this before here,” Guardiola said. “It is not our way. [We always] try to help him in our environment. We have this incredible sense that he always looks starving and is so competitive. The numbers are scary, honestly.
“He sees 10 players running without the ball with effort for each other so he wants to do it. They visualise it, they see it. It’s why we have success in the last few years. Behind it is effort and desire to do it.”
The two hat-trick heroes both spoke to the media, with Foden jumping at the opportunity to express how proud he is to play for the club, as a local fan.
He said: “Obviously, it is a dream come true to play in the derby, being a Man City fan as well. Erling and I have built that connection now, and we are finding each other, and yes, it’s been a pleasure to be a part of the team.
“I feel that way [that the team just clicked right from the start]. Our determination, right from kick off, we were right at it and we finished our chances.”
Haaland echoed Guardiola’s sentiments that his side could have scored more, saying: “It could’ve been more and in the second half we should’ve been tighter, worked a bit harder, because it was a bit sloppy at times. We lost the second half and this is not good, so we still have to work.
“It’s these games I want to play in. These are the best games where there’s a bit extra.”