Pep Guardiola was delighted with Manchester City’s 5-0 win over West Ham in their Premier League opener – but not the performance.
Gabriel Jesus’ opener, followed by Raheem Sterling’s second-half hat-trick and a penalty from Sergio Aguero, secured an emphatic win for the defending champions at the London Stadium.
But while Guardiola was happy in the end, he was unconvinced by what he saw from his team in the first half despite going in 1-0 ahead at the interval.
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“In terms of the result, yes,” he replied when asked if he was happy.
“I cannot deny I am delighted for the first game. After winning the last 14 games of last season, that’s 15 now. It is good.”
And the performance? “No,” he added.
“In the first half we were sloppy with our passes, we were not precise. But that’s normal. The first game, away, 12.30 kick-off, hot. It’s normal.
“In the second half, from the beginning we were better, more calm, more passes. After 3-0, the game was over.”
City’s third goal appeared to have come earlier than it did only for Jesus to have a goal ruled out following a VAR check because Sterling was adjudged to have been marginally offside.
“We had to be strong because at 3-0 we can say the game is almost over,” Guardiola explained.
“But then it is 0-2 and Ederson is having to make amazing saves to stop it being 1-2. In this league, anything can happen. So you have to be 100 per cent ready, always be focused.
“My only wish is that VAR does not make mistakes. Please. If it is offside, it is offside. If it is hand, it is hand. Rules and rules. No problem. That is OK. My only concern is when VAR makes mistakes. But I think this will be more fair.”
As for his team, he is confident that even after a result like this they can improve.
“We have to,” he said.
This article was originally published on Sky Sports and reproduced with permission.