Man City’s domestic success unrivalled after latest Carabao Cup win – Pep Guardiola

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Manchester City’s recent dominance of English competitions is unrivalled, says manager Pep Guardiola after winning a third successive Carabao Cup.

Goals from Sergio Aguero and Rodri before Mbwana Samatta’s reply saw City beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley.

On top of three League Cups, Guardiola has won two Premier Leagues, an FA Cup and two Community Shields with City.

“Since we started to win, the last nine [domestic] competitions we played, we won eight,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“That is awesome. No club before in the history of domestic trophies, not counting Europe, won the amount of titles in a row we have won.

“Not even the biggest Liverpool in the 80s, the biggest Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho, or Arsene Wenger [with Arsenal).

“These clubs were amazing but were never able to win in the last nine titles, domestic eight.”

Liverpool won six league titles, two FA Cups and four successive League Cups in the 1980s, while United accumulated 13 Premier League titles including three in a row on two occasions under Ferguson, with Wenger guiding Arsenal to an unbeaten league season.

Guardiola, who joined Manchester City in 2016, led his side to the domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup last season, having also won the season-opening Community Shield.

The Spaniard says his side cannot compete for the title this year because Liverpool are “exceptional”. but believes his players’ desire to keep winning trophies has made City a “big, big club”.

“Never before we could go to Madrid, and Europe, and bigger stages and win the way we did,” Guardiola said about his side’s 2-1 victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16 first leg in the week.

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to qualify, but this is the first step. To believe we can go there and play, face-to-face, and win it.

“This is more important than come the end of the season we won one title or two titles.”

‘We nearly climbed that mountain’

City dominated for long spells of the final but Aston Villa almost took the game to extra time when Bjorn Engels’ header was turned onto the post by Claudio Bravo.

Villa boss Dean Smith said he was proud of his players’ efforts against “one of the top teams in the world”.

“We knew we would have to be patient without the ball,” said Smith, who admitted he thought Engels’ header moments from time was going in.

“They went 2-0 up and it is a mountain to climb against a team of that quality but we nearly climbed that mountain.

“I thought the lads showed a lot of heart and a lot of quality as well.”

Wins for West Ham and Watford in the Premier League on Saturday meant Villa dropped into the relegation zone, albeit with a game in hand.

But Smith is confident his side can take heart from their performance at Wembley.

“You can’t not look at the results from yesterday and because we weren’t playing we end up in the bottom three,” he added.

“We have got a game in hand and if we take the performance from today into our league season then we will be OK.”

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