Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola praises club for title defences

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have not dropped points in the league since a draw with West Brom on 15 December and top the table by 15 points

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has praised his side's record of always finishing in the top two the season after winning the title.

Defending champions Liverpool are seventh, 22 points behind City, who host local rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

City are the only side since 2012 to finish in the top four the season after lifting the Premier League title.

Guardiola said: "Our fans demand that we fight for the title."

City have won the title four times since their first Premier League triumph in 2011-12 - finishing second the following year three times, and successfully defending the title in 2018-19.

Manchester United ended in seventh the year after their most recent title win in 2013, while Chelsea have finished 10th and fifth in their title defences - and Leicester were 12th.

"Do you know the nicest thing the club has done in the last decade, every time we won the title, the next season we were there," said Guardiola, whose side have won their past 21 games in all competitions and are 15 points clear of second-placed Manchester United.

"The lowest position after winning was second. Manuel [Pellegrini] was there. You see the other champions, how they fight to qualify for the top four.

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"We have the consistency of being there all the time. That is how you are respected. You can win one title but being there for a long time, what we have done in the last decade, is what I am proud of most."

City have not finished outside the top four since 2009-10, when they started the season under Mark Hughes and eventually came fifth.

"Being there in March and April, fighting for all the titles - this means you are considered a top club," said Guardiola.

"People say what they think the reason is, as everybody knows, but there is a lot of work from many departments of the club. That is why we want to continue. Our bosses and the fans demand it."

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